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The Flying Cloud


courtesy of

My name is Arthur Hollandin, as you may understand       
I was born ten miles from Dublin Town, down on the salt-sea strand,
When I was young and' comely, sure, good fortune on me shone
My parents loved me tenderly for I was their only son.

My father he rose up one day and with him I did go
He bound me as a butcher's boy to Pearson of Wicklow
I wore the bloody apron there for three long years and more
Till I shipped on board of the Ocean Queen Belonging to Tramore

It was on Bermuda's island That I met with Captain Moore
The Captain of The Flying Cloud, The pride of Baltimore
I undertook to ship with him On a slaving voyage to go
To the burning shores of Africa, Where the sugar cane does grow

It all went well until the day we reached old Africa's shore
And five hundred of them poor slaves, me boys from their native land we bore
Each man was loaded down with chains as we made them walk below
Just eighteen inches of space was all that each man had to show

The plague it came and fever too and killed them off like flies
We dumped their bodies on the deck and hove them over side
For sure, the dead were the lucky ones for they'd have to weep no more
Nor drag the chain and feel the lash In slavery for evermore

But now our money it is all spent, We must go to sea once more
And all but five remained to listen to the words of Captain Moore
There's gold and silver to be had If with me you'll remain
Let's hoist the pirate flag aloft and sweep the Spanish Main

The Flying Cloud was a Yankee ship, five hundred tons or more
She could outsail any clipper ship hailing out of Baltimore
With her canvas white as the driven snow And on it there's no specks
And forty men and fourteen guns she carried below her decks

We plundered many a gallant ship down on the Spanish Main
Killed many a man and left his wife and children to remain
To none we showed no kindness but gave them watery graves
For the saying of our captain was: "Dead men tell no tales."

We ran and fought with many a ship both frigates and liners too
Till, at last, a British man-o-war, The Dunmow, hove in view
She fired a shot across our bows as we ran before the wind
And a chainshot cut our mainmast down and we fell far behind

They beat our crew to quarters as they drew up alongside
And soon across our quarter-deck there ran a crimson tide
We fought until they killed our captain and twenty of our men
 Then a bombshell set our ship on fire, We had to surrender then

It's now to Newgate we have come bound down with iron chains
For the sinking and the plundering of ships on the Spanish Main
 The judge he has condemned us and we are condemned to die
 Young men a warning by me Take and shun all piracy

Farewell to Dublin City and the girl that I adore
I'll never kiss your cheek again nor hold your hand no more
Whiskey and bad company have made a wretch of me
Young men, a warning by me take and shun all piracy

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.