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Henry Martin


courtesy of

There were three brothers in merry Scotland
In merry Scotland there were three
And they did cast lots which of them should go
should go, should go And turn robber all on the salt sea

The lot it fell first upon Henry Martin
The youngest of all three
That he should turn robber all on the salt sea
Salt sea, salt sea For to maintain his two brothers and he

He had not been sailing but a long winter's night
And a part of a short winter's day
Before he espied a stout lofty ship
lofty ship, lofty ship Come abiding down on him straight way

Hullo! Hullo! cried Henry Martin
What makes you sail so nigh
I'm a rich merchant bound for fair London town
London Town London Town Will you please for to let me pass by

Oh no! Oh no! cried Henry Martin
That thing it never could be
For I am turned robber all on the salt sea
Salt sea, salt sea For to maintain my brothers and me

Come lower your topsail and brail up your mizzen
And bring your ship under my lee
Or I will give you a full flowing ball
flowing ball flowing ball And your dear bodies drown in the salt sea

Oh no! we won't lower our lofty topsail
Nor bow ourselves under your lee
And you shan't take from us our rich merchant goods
merchant goods merchant goods Nor point our bold guns to the sea

With broadside and broadside and at it they went
For fully two hours or three
Till Henry Martin gave to her the deathshot
the deathshot the deathshot And straight to the bottom went she

Bad news bad news to old England came
Bad news to fair London Town
There's been a rich vessel and she's cast away
cast away cast away And all of the merry men drowned

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.