The Real McKenzies – Barrett’s Privateers

Best of Canadiana. Here are the original Stan Rogers lyrics:

Oh, the year was 1778, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
A letter of marque came from the king,
To the scummiest vessel I’d ever seen,

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

Oh, Elcid Barrett cried the town, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
For twenty brave men all fishermen who
would make for him the Antelope’s crew

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

The Antelope sloop was a sickening sight,HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
She’d a list to the port and her sails in rags
And the cook in scuppers with the staggers and the jags

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

On the King’s birthday we put to sea, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
We were 91 days to Montego Bay
Pumping like madmen all the way

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

On the 96th day we sailed again, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
When a bloody great Yankee hove in sight
With our cracked four pounders we made to fight

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

The Yankee lay low down with gold, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
She was broad and fat and loose in the stays
But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

Then at length we stood two cables away, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
Our cracked four pounders made an awful din
But with one fat ball the Yank stove us in

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

The Antelope shook and pitched on her side, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs
And the Maintruck carried off both me legs

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

So here I lay in my 23rd year, HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW!
It’s been 6 years since we sailed away
And I just made Halifax yesterday

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

The Real McKenzies – Barrett’s Privateers

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