Music Midi CD - Time & Tide
Admiral Benbow

Words: traditional
Music: traditional

Well, we sailed from Virginia and thence to Fayal
Where we loaded with water and there we weighed all.
Full in view on the sea, boys, several ships we did espy
So we manned our capstan and we weighed speedily.

And the first we come up with were a brig and a sloop,
And we asked them if the others were just as big as they looked.
Well, dark was the morning and dismal was the day
When we found them French men o' war, all a-cruising hard by.

Well, we'd hoisted our topsails and we hoisted them stout,
And we hoisted our bloody flag to the main topmast head.
Well, we hoisted our Jack-flag to the mizzen peak
And we drew up our squadron in a line to compete.

When we drawn up our squadron in its very nice line,
Well boldly we fought them for four hours time.
Till the day it being over, the night it coming on,
Well we left them alone till the very next morn.

'twas then Captain Kirby proved a coward at last,
And with Wade played at peep-bo from behind their main mast.
Oh, and there they did stand, boys, did shiver and did shake,
For the fear that them French dogs their lives they would take.

And the very next morning the engagement proved hot,
And poor Admiral Benbow he received a chance shot.
Oh, but when he was struck, to his merry men did say:
"Take me up in your arms, lads, and carry me away".

And the cannons did rattle and the bullets did fly,
But brave Admiral Benbow for help would not cry.
"Take me down to the orlop there is ease there for my smarts
If my men were to see me it would sure break their hearts."

And the very same morning at the break of the day
We hoisted our stun-sails and we so bore away.
Well, we bore for Port Royal where people flocked much,
For to see Admiral Benbow carried to Kingston church.

So, come all you bold heroes, wherever you have been.
Drink a toast to the health of our King and our Queen.
And another fine toast to them girls that we do know,
And a third in remembrance of brave Admiral Benbow.

"Admiral Benbow" - This version comes from a very old chap-book that I was privileged to see while singing in York. I passed it on to two very good friends, Johnny Collins and Jim Mageean who recorded virtually what I gave them - but not quite. The events did happen, and for those interested, Benbow survived long enough (three days after being wounded) to ensure that Kirby and Wade received their just desserts.

I. W.

Music Midi CD - Time & Tide