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Captain Burke I sailed on a ship called the Caroline Burke was the captain's name Bound out on the coast of Africa On a sweet and pleasant gale We had on board four hundred slaves In our ship's hole below, We did not know what moment would turn on us And prove our overthrow. Oh, we had not been sailing long When a storm it did arise, And dark and dismal was the night And cloudy looked the skies. The captain called, " All hands on deck, Come bear a hand aloft, Be quick and reef out foretopsails, Our ship is fore and aft." As up aloft like tars we mounted Our canvas to take in, When the heavy clap of thunder came And the lightning first began. Likewise the mate and cabin boy Fell from the maintop yard, And then we were eight in number Our ship and lives to guard. Oh, it was after a long time sailing Our ship in port arrived, Then it was off to the hospital we were marched Four seamen lame and blind. Oh, the doctors there tried all their skill But it was all in vain, It 's in a state of darkness We all have to remain. Oh, if it is to be God's will That only we could see, We'd earn our bread as we always did By sailing the rough salt sea. Laws K5 DT #556 From Creighton, Songs and Ballads of Nova Scotia, no. 54 collected from Richard Hartlan of Southeast Passage, NS SOF oct96
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