BARRETT’S PRIVATEERS

by Stan Rogers, arr. Ron Smail

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featuring the Chor Leoni Men’s Choir
Stan Rogers, Canada’s folk music hero, speaks to all of us through his words and music. This is a rollicking sea shanty. Not many songs have swearing (moderate) but this one really works! You might be swearing too if you lost both your legs!

LYRICS

Oh, the year was 1778, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
A letter of marque come from the king, 
To the scummiest vessel I’d ever seen, 
God damn them all! 

I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

Oh, Elcid Barrett cried the town, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
For twenty brave men all fishermen who
Would make for him the Antelope’s crew
God damn them all! 

refrain

The Antelope sloop was a sickening sight, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
She’d a list to the port and and her sails in rags
And the cook in scuppers with the staggers and the jags
God damn them all! 

refrain

On the King’s birthday we put to sea, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
We were 91 days to Montego Bay
Pumping like madmen all the way
God damn them all! 

refrain

On the 96th day we sailed again, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
When a bloody great Yankee hove in sight
With our cracked four pounders we made to fight
God damn them all! 

refrain

The Yankee lay low down with gold, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
She was broad and fat and loose in the stays
But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days
God damn them all! 

refrain

Then at length we stood two cables away, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
Our cracked four pounders made an awful din
But with one fat ball the Yank stove us in
God damn them all! 

refrain

The Antelope shook and pitched on her side, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs
And the Main trunk carried off both me legs
God damn them all! 

refrain

So here I lay in my 23rd year, 
HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW! 
It’s been 6 years since we sailed away
And I just made Halifax yesterday
God damn them all! 

refrain

VIEW SCORE

SATB SCORE (PDF)
TTBB SCORE (PDF)

ORDER SHEET MUSIC

SATB – a cappella $2.35 CP 1226
TTBB – a cappella $2.35 CP 1253