The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77777   Message #2505910
Posted By: Jim Dixon
02-Dec-08 - 11:23 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The Cruel Ship's Captain (Broadside?)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE CABIN BOY (Southern Michigan)
From Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan by Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner.


1. Come all you noble bold commanders who the raging ocean use,
By my fate I pray take warning your poor sailors don't abuse;
Richard Peva was my servant, and a spritely lad was he;
His parents did a prentice bind him for to cross the raging sea.
'Twas on a voyage to Carolina and as we was returning home,
Cruelly this boy I murdered; such a thing was never known.
'Twas some offense he gave unto me made my bloody heart to rage;
Then straightway to the mast I tied him; there I kept him many day.

2. With his arms and legs extended and him no succor did I give,
Saying, "If any of my men relieve him, not one moment shall they live."
When three days I thus had kept him, he with hunger loud did cry,
"O for Christ sake now relieve me, or with hunger I shall die."
Eighteen bitter stripes I gave him, which made the purple gore to run;
There was none that dare to save him, such a thing was never known;
When seven days I thus had kept him, he now with languish did begin;
Begging for a little water, I some urine gave to him.

3. He, poor soul, refused to drink it which I prepared when I had done;
I made him drink the purple gore which from his wounded limbs did run;
O the cries he sent unto me would have pierced a Christian's heart;
Oftentimes he cried, "Dear master, did you know the cruel smart
That your tender son doth suffer, sure your tender heart would break!
My bitter grief no tongue can utter, O Lord, relieve me from this fate!
O that I had but one small morsel that the dogs would this despise!
Pray God send me down some water from the blessed lofty skies."

4. When nine days I thus had kept him, unto him I then did go;
He cried, "O dear and loving master, one good favor to me show;
Do not keep me here to perish; kill me, send me to my grave,
Or one bit of bread afford me." His excrements I then him gave.
His excrements which he avoided, fording him the same to eat,
And because he did refuse it, eighteen stripes I gave him straight.
With that the distressed creature for a Savior loud did cry;
In this wretched situation this poor creature now did die.

5. Oftentimes my men upbraid me, I like fury cursed and swore,
Saying, "I'll have you hung for pirates if I live to get on shore."
Sailors, learning my intention, a little unto me did say,
But they had me apprehended when we did return from sea.
I thought my money would have cleared me, hearing the boy's friends were poor,
But O the cries of his dear mother would have grieved your heart full sore!
He resolved to persecute me; she no gold nor bribe would take.
Captain James for cruel murder now the gibbets is his fate.

6. How now can a glance of pity be cast on this my crime?
It doth appear to every creature such a blot on you mankind;
Often do I cry for mercy when no mercy do afford
To a poor innocent creature, yet some mercy show me, Lord.
I do lay upon thy mercy, for my death approaches nigh.
Captain James for cruel murder now upon the gibbet dies.