The Flying Cloud
I find this a very powerful and explicit song from that particular period of history. As I say I learned in in Australia many years ago and remains firmly fixed in my mind. Martyn
THE FLYING CLOUD Traditional
My name is Arthur Hollander as you will understand
I was born and bred in Dublin town all on the salt sea strand
When I was young and comely 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 boy to Pearson of Wicklow
I wore the bloody apron there for three long years or more
‘Till I shipped on board of the Ocean Queen belonging to Traymore.
It was upon Bermuda’s Isle I met with Captain Moore
The skipper of the Flying Cloud the pride of Baltimore
I undertook to serve 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 came to Africa’s shore
Five hundred of them poor slaves from their native land we bore
Each one was loaded down with chains as we stowed them down below
Just eighteen inches space was all that each man had to show.
Oh the plague it came and the fever too and killed them off like flies
We heaved their bodies on the deck then threw then in the sea
For sure the dead were lucky for they would never grieve no more
Nor feel the lash nor drag the chains in Cuba evermore.
Well now our money is all spent I must go to sea once more
But each man stayed and listened to the words of Captain Moore
There’s gold and silver to be had if with me you’ll remain
We’ll hoist the pirate flag aloft and sail the Spanish Maine.
Oh we plundered many gallant ship all on the Spanish Maine
Killed many a man and left his wife and children to remain
To none we showed no mercy but gave them a watery grave
For the saying of our Captain was that dead men tell no tails.
We plundered many a gallant ship both frigate and liner too
Until the British Man of War the Dunmore hove in view
She fired a shot across our bows as we sailed before the wind
Then a chain shot snapped our mast in two and we soon fell far behind.
Oh they beat our crew to quarters as they drew up alongside
Until across our quarter deck there ran a crimson tide
We fought them ‘till they killed our Captain and twenty of our men
Then a fire bomb set our ship aflame and we had to surrender then..
And now to Newgate Jail I’ve come bound down in iron chains
For the sinking and the plundering of ships on the Spanish Maine
The judge has found us guilty and we are all condemned to die
Young men a warning take by me and shun all piracy.
So farewell Dublin City and the girl that I adore
I’ll never kiss her cheeks again nor squeeze her hand no more
For whiskey and bad company have made a wretch of me
Young men a warning by me take and shun all piracy.