|←Auld Matrons, no. 249||Child's Collected Ballads by
"Henry Martyn", no. 250
|Lang Johnny More, no. 251→|
|One of two ballads based upon the legendary Scottish admiral Andrew Barton, both this text and Andrew Bartin, no. 167 date back to the 17th century. In the twentieth century, this ballad has been sung by artists including Joan Baez, Moist, Figgy Duff and Burl Ives.|
There were three brothers in merry Scotland,
In merry Scotland there were three,
And they did cast lots which of them should go,
should go, should go,
And turn robber all on the salt sea.
The lot it fell first upon Henry Martyn,
The youngest of all three;
That he should turn robber all on the salt sea,
Salt sea, salt sea.
For to maintain his two brothers and he.
He had not been sailing but a long winter's night
And a part of a short winter's day,
Before he espied a stout lofty ship,
lofty ship, lofty ship,
Come abibing down on him straight way.
Hullo! Hullo! cried Henry Martyn,
What makes you sail so nigh?
I'm a rich merchant bound for fair London town,
London Town, London Town
Will you please for to let me pass by?
Oh no! Oh no! cried Henry Martyn,
That thing it never could be,
For I am turned robber all on the salt sea
Salt sea, salt sea.
For to maintain my brothers and me.
Come lower your topsail and brail up your mizz'n
And bring your ship under my lee,
Or I will give you a full flowing ball,
flowing ball, flowing ball,
And your dear bodies drown in the salt sea.
Oh no! we won't lower our lofty topsail,
Nor bow ourselves under your lee,
And you shan't take from us our rich merchant goods,
merchant goods, merchant goods
Nor point our bold guns to the sea.
With broadside and broadside and at it they went
For fully two hours or three,
Till Henry Martyn gave to her the deathshot,
the deathshot, the deathshot,
And straight to the bottom went she.
Bad news, bad news, to old England came,
Bad news to fair London Town,
There's been a rich vessel and she's cast away,
cast away, cast away,
And all of the merry men drown'd.