#00799
Whipping Post (Hugh Scott)

Born in a tenement home,
our guts were racked with hunger,
My parents tried their Christian best
to keep us all alive;
But poverty does as poverty will,
my father stole a red hen
To make a soup for supper time,
but guards came to the door.
They cried:

"Tie him to the whipping post,
crack the cat and flay;
Tie him to the whipping post,
by God, we'll make him pay."

On the birthday of my thirteenth year
I joined the Royal Navy,
Small, frail and tired of death,
I set off to see the world;
My captain ruled with an iron fist,
his justice made me shudder,
Though small and frail I did protest
the advances of that old bugger.
And he yelled:

"Tie him to the whipping post,
crack the cat and flay;
Tie him to the whipping post,
by God, we'll make him pay."

And when I was just twenty-one,
I sailed out for the new world,
With good intent to settle down,
I made for Newfoundland;
Foundation built, a home of wood,
a chimney for the fire,
The Fishing Admiral came around,
said, boy, you broke the law.

"Tie him to the whipping post,
crack the cat and flay;
Tie him to the whipping post,
by God, we'll make him pay."

They burnt the whole house to the ground,
they tore down my fine chimney,
They dragged me to the Admiral's ship
and tied me to the mast.
The Admiral read the charges out:
"No squatters and no chimneys!"
A pound of flesh tore from my back
as warning to them all!
They heard:

"Tie him to the whipping post,
crack the cat and flay;
Tie him to the whipping post,
by God, we'll make him pay."

####.... Hugh Scott © Evergreen Songs. Performing rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####
Recorded by Hugh Scott (Of This Place, Iceberg Alley Intl, 1998).

Liner Notes: This song ties together the wretched life of the poor in England, the misery of the Royal Navy, and William III's Anti-Chimney Act. That statute banned settlement in Newfoundland by prohibiting the construction of chimneys. If the navy found one, the house and chimney were torn down and the inhabitants flogged and driven out. Meanwhile, some settlement was permitted under special license to favoured people. Hence, the colonies at Cupids, Ferryland, and so on. The idea behind the "no settlers" policy was that the fishermen would return to England each fall, thereby becoming experienced deep-water sailors. Then, when the Royal Navy needed sailors, it would have a pool available to enlist or impress. Like most government polices regarding Newfoundland Settlement, past and present, it failed utterly!



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