High Barbary

Traditional

 

Jack Sulanowski sings this accompanied by Tom Goux's trio of bass recorders (played simultaneously) on their Folkways album, Born of Another Time. He says they found it in Stan Hugill's Shanties from the Seven Seas. I love the contrast between, and the compliment of, the mournful tune and the oft-told tale of battle sea. C.K.

 

C: steel 6-string GB: cellamba

 

There were two lofty ships from old England come

Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we

One was the Prince of Luther and the other Prince of Wales

All a'cruising down the coast of the High Barbary

 

Aloft there, aloft there, our bully bosom cried

Look ahead, look astern, look to weather and alee

 

There's naught upon our stern, sir, there's naught upon our lee

But there's a lofty ship to windward and she's sailing fast and free

 

Then hail her, oh, hail her, our gallant captain cried

Are you a man of war or a privateer, cried he

 

Oh no, I'm not a man of war nor privateer, cried he

But I'm a salt pirate all a'looking for my fee

 

Then broadside and broadside, a long time they lay

Til at last the Prince of Luther shot the pirates' mast away

 

Oh quarter, oh, quarter, those pirates they did cry

But the quarter that we give 'em was to sink them in the sea

 

With cutlass and gun, well, we fought for hours three

The ship it was their coffin and their grave it was the sea

 

 

High Barbary is recorded on the album Neighbors