Captain Coulston You landsmen all on you I call You heroes stout and brave That are inclined to cross the seas Your homelands now to leave Come join with Captain Coulston That hero stout and bold Who fought his way all on the sea And never was controlled We sailed away from Liverpool The weather being fine Bound for New York City boys It was our chief's design We being all Irish emigrants The truth to you I'll tell Who in distress our homes had left And to Ireland bid farewell On the evening of the 25th our captain he did cry Clear away the deck me boys For a strange sail I do spy And all you Irish emigrants Awake now from your sleep For in a few more hours me boys You'll be slumbering in the deep For a pirate ship is a-coming down Just from the Western Sea For to rob us of our property Going to Amerikay Oh the pirate ship came up to us And ordered us to stand Your gold and precious cargo This moment I demand Your gold and precious cargo Resign to me this day For one living soul you'll never bring Unto Amerikay Then up and spoke our captain With voice both loud and bold Saying we will slumber in the deep Before we'll be controlled Before that we'll surrender Our property to thee We'll fight like Irish hearts of oaks And gain the victory So the battle it commenced And the firing did begin They wounded the captain's mate And killed two of his men But our Irish boys were valiant and bold And our canons loud did roar And we killed ten of the pirate men And turned them overboard Oh the cries of women and children As in the hold they lay And our captain and his gallant crew They showed an Irish play The captain's wife she came on deck Saying I'll soon end this strife And with a pistol ball she took The pirate captain's life And it's to conclude and finish The truth I'll tell to you Oh we never lost a single man Excepting one ore two And the pirate ship surrendered Just at the break of day And we brought her as a prisoner Unto Amerikay ------------------------------------------------------- recorded by Andy Irvine/Dick Gaughan on "Parallel Lines" (1981) and in a slightly shorter version by Steeleye Span on "Ten Man Mop" (1971) Andy notes: "Can it really be that pirates would lay in wait for poverty stricken emigrant ships sailing to the new world? (But see JIMJONES for similar situation. JB) Captain Coulston's wife was well able to deal with them anyway. I heard this from the great Brigid Tunney,the best singer I ever heard and filled out the story from a longer version sung by Peter Donnelly of Castle Caulfield, Co. Tyrone. Steeleye also name Brigid Tunney as their source. This song probably originated as just a pirate ballad and was turned into an emigration ballad in the 19th century, which explains the slightly confused story. MJ
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