MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Drunken Captain
Martin Reddigan NFLD 1 Tape 12 Track 4
Calvert Audio:

Homeward bound across the sea
Our old Captain being on a spree
He came on board and to us did say
"Get your anchors ready boys get under way."

We got all things ready by his command
As the wind blow freely we left the land
We left Cape Pine all on our lee
And we hove her off to a heavy sea

The first call came from an angry sky
Our ship she's sinking o'er the skyline
We'll ask our Captain for to shorten sail
Or we'll all be lost in the heavy gale

Then up speaks one of our jolly men
Saying there's twelve of us on our deck do stand
We'll reef her down in spite of you
If you interfere you'll be tied down too

We reefed her down all against his will
As the wind blew freely our sails did fill
She's heading down for the cape shore now
As she drives the white foam from her bow

Homeward bound with deep success
Like a joyful seabird she seeks her nest
When I'll reach land no more I'll sail
With a drunken Captain in a heavy gale


Sources: Mercer 114, Leach 118; Peacock 871; Creighton 1966 932>, 230; Leach also collected this song from Ned RIce of Cape Broyle.

History: May have originated either in Newfoundland or Nova Scotia.

Text notes: Known as "In Canso Strait" in Nova Scotia;   Sailors ask captain to reef sails in a gale and he refuses; they defy orders of their captain in order to get home safely.

Tune notes: The two tunes for this song are similar, both slow 6/6 metre, "abcd" patterns in which the "c" phrase ends with a dramatic ascending 6th

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