Dalhousie University Archives

Nova Scotia Ballads

[Page 220]


My name it is Edward Anderson,
As you may understand,
I belong to the city of Waterford,
In Erin's lovely land,
When I was young and in my prime,
And health did on me smile,
My parents doted on me,
I, being their only child,
My father reared me tenderly,
In the fear of God likewise,
But little he thought I’d die in scorn
On Cuba'ssunny isles,
My father bound me to a trade,
In Waterford'sfair town,
He bound me to a cooper there,
Whose name was William Brown.
I served my master faithfully
For eighteen months or more,
When I shipped on board the "Ocean Queen"
For Valparaiso'sshore.
It happened at Valparaiso's,
I fell in with Captain Moore.
He commanded the clipper "Flying Cloud"
Sailing out ofBaltimore.
He hired me to sail with him,
A slaving voyage to go
To the burning shores of Africa,
Where the sugar cane doth grow.
The "Flying Cloud" was a clipper barque,
Five hundred tons or more.
She could easily sail round any ship
Sailing out of Baltimore.
I’ve often seen that goodly ship,
With the wind abaft her beam,
With her royal and studdin’ set aloft,
Take sixteen from the reel.
Her sails were white as any snow,
On them there was no speck.
She had seventy-five brass mounted guns,
She carried on her deck.
Her magazine and iron chests
Were safely stored below.
She had a "Long Tom” 2 between her spars 3,
On a swivel it did go.
We soon tossed o'er the raging sea
And reached the Afric shore,
Where five hundred of these poor souls,
From their native homes we bore,
We dragged them down unto the deck
And stored them down below,
And eighteen inches to a man
Was all we had to stow.
We weighed our anchor and put to sea,
Our cargo it being slaves.
It had been far better for those poor souls,
Had they been in their graves.
For plague and fever did come on board
And took half of them away.
We dragged their bodies to the deck
And threw them in the sea.
Our money it then being spent,
We went aboard again.
Our captain called us to the deck
And said to us his men:
"There’s gold in plenty to be had
Down on the Spanish main,
If you’ll agree my jovial crew,
I’ll tell you how it’s gained.
"There's gold and silver to be had
If you with me remain.
We’ll hist the lofty pirate flag
And scour the Spanish Main."
We all agreed but five bold youths
Who ordered us them to land,
Two of them were Boston caps,
Two more from Newfoundland.
The other was an Irish lad
A native of Stramore.
I wish to God I’d joined their lot
Two more from Newfoundland.
We burned and plundered many's a ship
Down on the Spanish Main,
Left many a widow and orphan child,
In sorrow to complain.
We caused their crews to walk the plank,
Gave them a watery grave,
And all the words our captain spoke,
Were "Dead men tell no tales."
We had been chased by man of wars,
Frigates and liners too,
But to overtake our goodly ship,
'Twas what they ne'er could do.
They always fell astern of us,
When the cannon roared so loud,
And do their best, they never could
O'ertake the "flying Cloud."
At length a Spanish man o’ war
The "Dungeon" hove in view.
She fired a shot across our bows,
As a signal to heave to.
To them we gave no answer
But steered before the wind,
When a chance shot cut our mizzenmast off,
And then we fell behind,
We cleared our deck for action,
As she ranged up alongside,
And soon upon our quarterdeck
There flowed a crimson tide.
We fought till Captain Moorewas shot
And eighty of our men,
When a bomeshell set our ship on fire,
We had to surrender then.
Soon we were taken prisoners,
And into prison cast.
We were tried and found guilty,
Had to be hanged at last,
You see what I have come to,
By my unlucky hand,
And now I’ve e got to die in scorn,
By the laws of Spanish land.
Fare ye well, sweet Waterford,
And the girl I love so dear,
I never more shall hear your voice,
Like music soft and clear.
I ne'er shall kiss your ruby lips
Or press your lily white hand,
For now I've got to die in scorn,
By the laws of Spanish land.


The Flying Cloud The name of a ship The Flying Cloud, built in the mid 19 th century, was reknowned for its speedy transit from New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn. The ballad, however, seems to reference an earlier pirate ship
"Long Tom" a term for a "large cannon with a long range"
Spars a term for a "pole used on a sailing vessel
Anonymous. Date: 2014-10-16