01462
Kelly The Pirate (Kenneth Peacock)

We're patrolling the sea as you very well know,
To protect all our traders as they come and go;
To protect all our traders as they come and go;
From Kelly the pirate I'll have you to know.
And it's oh, Britons stand true,
Stand true to your colors, stand true.

We had not been sailing a day over three,
When a boy from our maintop a sail he did see;
"A sail, oh, a sail, she sails into low,
It's Kelly the pirate I'll have you to know."
And it's oh, Britons stand true,
Stand true to your colors, stand true.

The lieutenant went down and brought up a glass,
He gave to our admiral to see what she was;
Our admiral went aloft and viewed 'er all 'round,
"It's Kelly the pirate, I'll bet fifty pound.
And it's oh, Britons stand true,
Stand true to your colors, stand true.

"And now, my brave boys, it's on her we'll prevail,
We will soon overhaul 'er, or I will go bail;
Go and shake out your reefs, shake them out clear,
Hard down with your helm and after them steer."
And it's oh, Britons stand true,
Stand true to your colors, stand true.

We sailed on, we sailed on, till she came in shot,
But still this brave pirate, he dreaded us not;
With voice loud as thunder bold Kelly did say,
"Fire a shot, strike 'er midships, brave boys, fire away!"
And it's oh, Britons stand true,
Stand true to your colors, stand true.

We fought them in battle for an hour or more,
Till blood through her scuppers like water did pour;
With balls of good metal we peppered her hull,
Till down came the ensign, staff colors and all.
And it's oh, Britons stand true,
Stand true to your colors, stand true.

The prize she was taken on that very same day,
And off to the prison marched Kelly away;
Drink a health to your admiral and his lieutenant, too,
Likewise the bold frigate and all of her crew!
And it's oh, Britons stand true,
Stand true to your colors, stand true.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, Kelly The Pirate, published by W Armstrong (Liverpool) sometime between 1820 and 1824, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmarks: Harding B 28(162) ....####

Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from Henry James (Harry) Curtis [1895-1963] of Joe Batt's Arm, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.846-847, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected from Alexander Harrison and published in Ballads And Sea Songs From Nova Scotia by William Roy Mackenzie [1883-1957] (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1928).


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