CK History of the tune Lyrics for Captain Kidd Songs like it Buy sheet music
  

The Poem

The Poem is both ballad and elegy. It is in all modes: narative, dramatic, lyric and didactic, for it is spoken by a man at the gallows telling his own tale to preach a moral.

Example:
1. Two hundred bars of gold
2. as I sailed, as I sailed.
3. Two hundred bars of gold
4. as I sailed.
5. Two hundred bars of gold
6. and dollars manifold
7. with riches uncontrolled
8. as I sailed.

The Rhythm

The rhythm is trochaic tetrameters, varied by leaving the second dimeter of lines 4 and 8 unvoiced. In Britain it is sung as an eight lined stanza but in America the stanza is made ten lines by repeating lines 7 and 8.

The Rhyme

The rhyme throughout is very correct single rhymes. In fact much of it scarcely qualifes as rhyme for lines 2, 4 and 8 end in the same word, as also do lines 1, 3 and 5. The only rhyming proper is lines 6 and 7, and even these rhyme with 1, 3 and 5. This primitive structure envelops the entirity for lines 2, 4 and 8 throughout the entire song end in the same word: sailed. The line as I sailed becomes in effect a chorus. That a group could join a soloist by singing this frequent chorus makes it like a work-song.

Stanza Pattern

The Captain Kidd stanza pattern is unusual: it would be an octet rhymed on alternate lines were it not for the sixth line. For six and seven are rhymed with five making a tercet. Then line 8 returns to the 2, 4 rhyme. Technically the nearest pattern is ottava rima, a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c, in which the alternates switch to a couplet. However Captain Kidd is more primitive: a-b-a-b-a-b-b-b-a, for its tercet rhymes with one of the alternates. In having a single last line rhyming with the first section it resembles a limerick.

Which reminds me of an ancient sailor’s story, recounted from Norway to Spain, of the The Blue Men of the Minch, supernatural sea creatures who try to sink passing ships. But always their leader gives the captain a last chance as a line of verse. The skipper must then offer a reply in like rhythm and meter, making sure that he got the last word in the rhyme. If he fails the vessel is capsized, but if he can answer poetically the ship is freed. So you see, it's a clever tongue with skill in rhyming that gets a sailor out of trouble.

The British Version

The British folio broadside was printed in 1701 for his execution. "This ballad features the emotional release of moral condemnation, reciting the personal confession of Kidd's lawless acts, his pious regrets, and his moral warnings to others -- although he did none of those things in fact" (Bonner p.89).

Printed in London in 1701
"Captain Kid's Farewel to the Seas, or, the Famous Pirate's Lament, 1701
to the tune of Coming Down"
21KOx

My name is Captain Kid, who has sail'd [who has sail'd],
My name is Captain Kid, who has sail'd;
My name is Captain Kid
What the laws did still forbid
Unluckily I did while I sail'd [while I sail'd, etc.].

Upon the ocean wide, when I sail'd, [when I sail'd],
Upon the ocean wide, when I sail'd,
Upon the ocean wide
I robbed on every side,
With the most ambitious pride, when I sail'd.

My faults I will display while I sail'd, [while I sail'd],
My faults I will display while I sail'd,
My faults I will display,
Committed day by day
[1 line lost.]......................., while I sail'd.

Many long leagues from shore when I sail'd, [when I sail'd],
Many long leagues from shore when I sail'd,
Many long leagues from shore
I murdered William Moore,
And laid him in his gore, when I sail'd.

Because a word he spoke when I sail'd, [when I sail'dj,
Because a word he spoke when I sail'd,
Because a word he spoke,
I with a bucket broke
His scull at one sad stroke, when I sail'd.

I struck with a good will when I sail'd, [when I sail'd},
I struck with a good will when I sail'd,
I struck with a good will,
And did a gunner kill
As being cruel still when I sail'd.

A Quida merchant then while I sail'd, [while I sail'd],
A Quida merchant then while I sail'd,
A Quida merchant then
I robbed of hundreds ten,
Assisted by my men, while I sail'd.

A banker's ship of France, while I sail'd, [while I sail'd],
A banker's ship of France, while I sail'd,
A banker's ship of France
Before us did advance:
I seized her by chance, while I sailed.

Full fourteen ships I see when I sailed, [when I sailed],
Full fourteen ships I see when I sailed,
Full fourteen ships I see
Merchants of high degree;
They were too hard for me when I sailed.

We steered from sound to sound while we sailed, [while we sailed],
We steered from sound to sound while we sailed,
We steered from sound to sound,
A Moorish ship we found;
Her men we stripped and bound while we sailed.

Upon the ocean seas while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Upon the ocean seas while we sailed,
Upon the ocean seas
A warlike Portuguese
In sport did us displease, while we sailed.

At famous Malabar when we sailed, [when we sailed],
At famous Malabar when we sailed,
At famous Malabar
We went ashore, each tar,
And robbed the natives there, when we sailed.

Then after this we chased, while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Then after this we chased, while we sailed,
Then after this we chased
A rich Armenian, graced
With wealth, which we embraced, while we sailed.

Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed,
Many Moorish ships we took;
We did still for plunder look;
All conscience we forsook while we sailed.

I, Captain Culliford, while I sailed, [while I sailed],
I Captain Culliford, while I sailed,
I, Captain Culliford,
Did many merchants board,
Which did much wealth afford, while we sailed.

Two hundred bars of gold, while we sail'd, [while we sail'd],
Two hundred bars of gold, while we sail'd,
Two hundred bars of gold
And rix dollars manifold
We seized uncontrolled, while we sailed.

St. John, a ship of fame, when we sailed, [when we sailed],
St. John, a ship of fame, when we sailed,
St. John, a ship of fame
We plundered when she came,
With more than I could name, when we sailed.

We taken was at last, and must die, [and must die],
We taken was at last, and must die,
We taken were at last
And into prison cast:
Now, sentence being past, we must die.

Tho' we have resigned while we must die, [while we must die],
Tho' we have resigned while we must die,
Tho' we have resigned awhile,
While fortune seemed to smile,
Now on the British isle we must die.

Farewel the ocean main, we must die, [we must die],
Farewel the ocean main, we must die,
Farewel the ocean main:
The coast of France or Spain
We ne'er shall see again; we must die.

From Newgate now in carts we must go, [we must go],
From Newgate now in carts we must go,
From Newgate now in carts,
With sad and heavy hearts,
To have our due deserts we must go.

Some thousands they will flock when we die, [when we diel,
Some thousands they will flock when we die,
Some thousands they will flock
To Execution Dock,
Where we must stand the shock and must die.

Source: Bonner, William Hallard Pirate Lauriate. Rutgers University Press. 1947. ISBN: 1299849849 ISBN-13: 9781299849846, p86.


Captain William Kidd (1645-1701) had in fact been commissioned as a privateer, by New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, to hunt pirates, and carried a license for that from King Wiillian III of England.

Gunner William Moore was threatening his Captain with mutiny when Kidd struck him with a bucket and inadvertantly killed him. Kidd trial was really him being made a scapegoat for international political purposes.

This song popularized the erronious belief that Kidd had confessed guilty to the false charges when he never did.

For more discussion see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Kidd


The American Version

"The song came to the Colonies almost immediately, where it was so popular that its rough rhythms were worn down to easier smoothness and its narrative nonchalantly reworked" It also features an inexplicable variation of Kidd's first name to Robert.

Printed in America 1730-1820
"The Dying Words of Capt. Robert Kidd, A noted pirate who was Hanged at Execution Dock,in England.

YOU captains brave and bold, hear our cries, hear our cries,
You captains brave and bold hear our cries,
You captains brave and bold,
tho' you seem uncontrol'd
Don't for the sake of gold lose your souls, lose your souls.

My name was Robert Kidd, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
My name was Robert Kidd when I sail'd
My name was Robert Kidd,
God's laws I did forbid,
And so wickedly I did when I sail'd.

My parents taught me well, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
My parents taught me well when I sail'd,
My parents taught me well
to shun the gates of hell,
But against them I did rebel, when I sail'd.

I curs'd my father dear when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
I curs'd my father dear when I sail'd,
I curs'd my father dear,
and her that did me bear,
And so wickedly did swear when I sail'd.

I made a solemn vow, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
I made a solemn vow, when I sail'd.
I made a solemn vow,
to God I would not bow,
Nor myself one prayer allow, when I sail'd.

I'd a bible in my hand, when I sail'd, when I sail'd,
I'd a bible in my hand when I sail'd,
I'd a bible in my hand
by my father's great command,
But I sunk it in the sand when I sail'd.

I murder'd William Moore as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I murder'd William Moore as I sail'd;
I murder'd William Moore,
and I left him in his gore,
Not many leagues from shore, as I sail'd.

And being cruel still, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
And being cruel still, as I sail'd;
And being cruel still,
my gunner I did kill,
And his precious blood did spill as I sail'd.

My mate took sick and died, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
My mate took sick and died, as I sail'd;
My mate took sick and died,
which me much terrified,
When he call'd me to his bedside, as I sail'd.

And unto me did say, see me die, see me die,
And unto me did say, see me die;
And unto me did say,
take warning now I pray
There'll come a reckoning day, you must die.

You cannot then withstand, when you die, when you die,
You cannot then withstand, when you die;
You cannot then withstand
the judgements of God's hand,
But bound in iron bands you must die.

I was sick and nigh to death as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I was sick and nigh to death as I sail'd!
I was sick and nigh to death,
and vow'd at every breath,
To walk in wisdom's ways as I sail'd.

I thought I was undone, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I thought I was undone, as I sail'd;
I thought I was undone,
that my wicked glass was run,
But my health did soon return, as I sail'd.

My repentance lasted not, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
My repentance lasted not, as I sail'd;
My repentance lasted not,
my vows I soon forgot,
Damnation's my just lot, as I sail'd.

I steer'd from sound to sound, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I steer'd from sound to sound, as I sail'd;
I steer'd from sound to sound,
and many ships I found,
And most of them I burn'd as I sail'd.

I spy'd three ships of France, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I spy'd three ships of France as I sail'd.
I spy'd three ships of France,
to them I did advance,
And took them all by chance, as I sail'd.

I spy'd three ships of Spain, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I spy'd three ships of Spain as I sail'd;
I spy'd three ships of Spain,
I fir'd on them, amain,
Till most of them were slain, as I sail'd.

I'd ninety bars of gold, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
I'd ninety bars of gold as I sail'd,
I'd ninety bars of gold
and dollars manifold,
With riches uncontrol'd, as I sail'd.

Then fourteen ships I see, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
Then fourteen ships I see, as I sail'd,
Then fourteen ships I see,
and all brave men they be,
And they were too hard for me, as I sail'd.

Thus being o'ertaken at last, I must die, I must die,
Thus being o'ertaken at last, I must die,
Thus being o'ertaken at last,
and into prison cast,
And sentence being past, I must die.

Farewell to the raging main, for I must die, for I must die,
Farewell to the raging main, for I must die,
Farewell to the raging main,
to Turkey, France & Spain,
I shall ne'er see you again, for I must die.

To Newgate now I'm cast, and must die, and must die,
To Newgate now I'm cast, and must die;
To Newgate now I'm cast,
with sad and heavy heart,
To receive my just desert, I must die.

To Execution Dock, I must go, I must go,
To Execution Dock, I must go;
To Execution Dock,
where many thousands flock,
But I must bear my shock, and must die.

Come all ye young and old, see me die, see me die,
Come all ye young and old, see me die;
Come all ye young and old,
you're welcome to my gold,
For by it I've lost my soul, and must die.

Take warning now by me, for I must die, for I must die,
Take warning now by me, for I must die;
Take warning now by me,
and shun bad company,
Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die;
Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die.

Source: Bonner, William Hallard Pirate Lauriate. Rutgers University Press. 1947. ISBN: 1299849849 ISBN-13: 9781299849846, p.91.

 

fiddle_player
above: Viola Animé ©David Kidd

Printed Music

Of printed sheet music for Captain Kidd Bruce Olson wrote "the earliest tune for it that I can find is that in Helen K. Johnson's 'Our Familiar Songs', 1881." (Mudcat Forum 1998 re: lyrr add Going Up Camborne Hill.)
The next is 1908 "Lord Crawford 843" reprinted in C.H. Firth's 'Naval Songs and Ballads' 1908 p.134

But now you can order pdfs of sheet music of all of these songs, including chords and lyrics and pay by PayPal. Email your order to davidkidd@spiritone.com.

Your selections will be Emailed to you as PDF files, openable by any computer for use on your own printer. See our catalog. Please use our file numbers because many different tunes have the same title.

1952 arranged by Bradford and Lloyd

CAPTAIN KIDD

Oh! My name was Robert Kidd, as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh, My name was Robert Kidd, as I sailed,
My name was Robert Kidd, God's laws I did forbid,
And most wickedly I did, as I sailed, as I sailed
And most wickedly I did, as I sailed.
2
Oh! I murdered William Moore, as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh I murdered William Moore, as I sailed
Oh I murdered William Moore and left him in his gore,
Not many leagues from shore, as I sailed, as I sailed,
Not many leagues from shore, as I sailed.
3
Oh! I steered from sound to sound as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh, I steered from sound to sound as I sailed,
I steered from sound to sound, and many ships I found,
And most of them I burned, as I sailed, as I sailed,
And most of them I burned as I sailed.
4
Oh! I'd ninety bars of gold, as I sailed, as I sailed,
Oh, I'd ninety bars of gold, as I sailed,
I'd ninety bars of gold, and dollars manifold,
With riches uncontrolled, as I sailed, as I sailed,
With riches uncontrolled, as I sailed.
5
Then fourteen ships I saw, as I sailed, as I sailed,
Then fourteen ships I saw, as I sailed,
Then fourteen ships I saw, and brave men they were,
Ah! they were too much for me, as I sailed, as I sailed,
Ah! they were too much for me, as I sailed.
6
Oh! Take warning now by me, for I must die, I must die,
Oh, take warning now by me, for I must die,
Take warning now by me, and shun bad company,
Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die, I must die,
Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die.

Source: The Fireside Book of Favorite American Songs 1952 Simon & Schuster.

Source http://www.contemplator.com/sea/capkidd.html

1953 The Burl Ives Song Book
CAPTAIN KIDD

My name is William Kidd, as I sailed, as I sailed
My name is William Kidd, as I sailed
My name is William Kidd, God's laws I did forbid
And most wickedly I did, as I sailed, as I sailed

Oh, my parents taught me well, as I sailed, as I sailed
My parents taught me well, as I sailed
My parents taught me well to shun the gates of Hell
But against them I rebelled, as I sailed, as I sailed

Oh, I murdered William Moore, as I sailed, as I sailed
I murdered William Moore, as I sailed
I murdered William Moore and I left him in his gore
Many leagues from shore, as I sailed, as I sailed

Oh, I steered from sound to sound, as I sailed, as I sailed
Oh I steered from sound to sound, as I sailed
I steered from sound to sound, and many ships I found
And all of them I burned as I sailed, as I sailed

And being cruel still, as I sailed, as I sailed
And being cruel still, as I sailed
And being cruel still my gunner I did kill
And his precious blood did spill, as I sailed, as I sailed

I was sick and nigh to death, as I sailed, as I sailed
I was sick and nigh to death, as I sailed
I was sick and nigh to death and I vowed with every breath
To walk in wisdom's ways when I sailed, when I sailed

My repentance lasted not, as I sailed, as I sailed
My repentance lasted not, as I sailed
My repentance lasted not, my vows I soon forgot
Damnation was my lot, as I sailed, as I sailed

To execution dock I must go, I must go
To execution dock I must go
To execution dock, while many thousands flock
But I must bear the shock and must die, and must die,

Take a warning now by me, for I must die, for I must die,
Take a warning now by me for I must die
Take a warning now by me and shun bad company,
Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die, I must die.

1964 Pete Seeger on Golden Ring
CAPTAIN KIDD

04KSgr

My name is Captain Kidd, as I sailed, as I sailed
My name is Captian Kidd, as I sailed
My name is Captian Kidd, God's laws I did forbid
And most wickedly I did, as I sailed, as I sailed

Oh, my parents taught me well, as I sailed, as I sailed
My parents taught me well, as I sailed
My parents taught me well to shun the gates of Hell
But against them I rebelled, as I sailed, as I sailed

Well, I murdered William Moore, as I sailed, as I sailed
I murdered William Moore, as I sailed
I murdered William Moore and I left him in his gore
Forty leagues from shore, as I sailed, as I sailed

And being cruel still, as I sailed, as I sailed
And being cruel still, as I sailed
And being cruel still the gunner I did kill
And his precious blood did spill, as I sailed, as I sailed

Well, my repentance lasted not, as I sailed, as I sailed
My repentance lasted not, as I sailed
My repentance lasted not, my vows I soon forgot
Damnation was my lot, as I sailed, as I sailed

To execution dock I must go, I must go
To execution dock I must go
To execution dock, lay my head upon the block
And no more the laws I'll mock, as I sail, as I sail

Source: "Golden Ring", FSI-16, 1964

"The reputation for cruelty and viciousness generally assigned to Captain Kidd, probably the most famous of all pirates, is largely the result of the ballad maker's art. Actually, it would appear that William Kidd (1645?-1701) was the victim of a frame-up. He was hanged, guilty or not, near London on May 23, 1701. The tune, and particularly the verse pattern, of this song has been used for other songs, such as: "Samuel Hall", "The Praties they Grow Small", and the American hymn, "Wonderous Love." This version comes from Peter Seeger, who learned it in London from Steve Benbow. Many versions have "My name is Robert Kidd etc." Nobody seems to know where the "Robert" came from".


1990 by the COWBOY JUNKIES

CAPTAIN KIDD

My name is Captain Kidd, and I sailed, and I sailed
My name is Captain Kidd, and I sailed, and I sailed
And so wickedly I did
God's laws I did forbid

I roamed from sound to sound, and many ships I've found
I roamed from sound to sound, and many ships I've found
And then that I saw,
Was them my sun c. .go…

I murdered William Moore and I laid him in his gore
I murdered William Moore and I laid him in his gore
And this I did to him
A-many leagues from shore

Farewell to young and old, our jolly seaman bold
Farewell to young and old, our jolly seaman bold
You’ll welcome him, I know
And you’re welcome through my door

Here is an effective rearrangemt of the old words

Farewell to London town and the pretty girls around
Farewell to London town and the pretty girls around
My friends are all punished and
No pardon can be found

Farewell for I must die, I must die, I must die
Farewell for I must die, I must die, I must die
And in my own misery
I must lie, I must lie

I must lie, must lie, must lie, must lie.

source <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVPm11OUDIQ> 2011

Only recorded on three promo singles as the "exclusive bonus track Captain Kidd which is only available in this format":
1990 Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday Morning 10" vinyl single: U.K. limited edition RCA: PT 49288.
1991 'Cause Cheap Is How I Feel 12"vinyl U.S.A. RCA CD 2612-2-RDJ.
1992 Dead Flowers available only when purchasing Black Eyed Man from HMV stores in England. U.K. RCA, CD COWBOY 1.




SITES CITED
American Musicological Society <http://www.sas.upenn.edu/music/ams/>
Blue Men of the Minch <http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/Glaukidai.html#Blue-Men>
Bruce Olson <http://www.mudcat.org/olson/viewpage.cfm/>
CCEL <www.ccel.org/s/southern_harmony/>
Contemplator, Lesley Nelson-Burns <www.contemplator.com/>
COST G6 Conference <http://profs.sci.univr.it/~dafx/DAFx-final-papers.html>
Digital Tradition Mirror, Rick Heit <www.sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/>
Electric Scotland <http://www.electricscotland.com/History history/other/inglis_james.htm>
Folk Legacy<http://www.folk-legacy.com>
Max Hunter Song Collection <http://www.missouristate.edu/folksong/MaxHunter/>
The Jolly Rogers <www.chivalry.com/jollyrogers/>
The Mudcat Café <www.mudcat.org/threads.cfm>

RECORDINGS CITED
Captain Kidd by Eddie Trinkett and Howie Mitchell on Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends for Making Music CD-16 1996
Ye Jacobites by Name by Owen Hand on I loved a Lass Transatlantic 1966 re-released with Something New by Pier Records 1999 as PIERCD 502.
Captain Kidd by Waterson: Carthy on Fishes and Fine Yellow Sand. 2004, Topic Records TSCD542
Captain Kidd by Great Big Sea on The Hard and the Easy. 2005, Warner Music Canada.
Captain Kidd by Tempest on The Double Cross 2006, Magna Carta Records.
Sam Hall by May Kennedy McCord 1960, and by Roy "Wrinkle" Winkler, 1969, Max Hunter song collection

BOOKS CITED
Benet, R & S.V. and Arnold Shaw. Sing a Song of Americans. New York: Musette 1941.
Bonner, Williard Hallam. Pirate Laureate. New Brunswick, Rutgers 1947.
Bronson, Bertrand. Samuel Hall's Family Tree (California Folklore Quarterly I, 1, 1942),
reprinted in The Ballad As Song (University of California, 1969).
Colcord, Joanna C. Roll and Go: Indianapolis: Bobbs-Meril,1924.
Colcord, Joanna C. Songs of American Sailormen: New York: Norton, 1938.
Cook, Will Marion. Ed. T.L. Riis. The Music and Scripts of In Dahomey. Madison: A-R Editions, 1996.
ISBN 0 89579 342 3 © American Musicological Society
Cray, Ed. The Erotic Muse:American Bawdy Songs. Illinois: University, 1992. ISBN 02 52067 894.
Davidson, P. Songs of the British Music Hall. New York: Oak Embassy, 1971.
Fernström and O'Maidin. The Best of Two Worlds: Retrieving and Browsing. Ireland, University of Limerick, 2000.
Gilchrist, Anne Geddes Sacred Parodies of Secular Folk Songs, in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol. III no 3, 1938, pp 157-182.
Gilchrist, Anne Geddes Mentra Gwen, Journal of Welsh Folksong Society 1930, III, 45. See also Journal of Welsh Folksong Society II (1914-25), 122.
Jackson, George P. The 400 Year Odyssey of the Captain Kidd Family-Notably the Religious Branch, Southern Folklore Quarterly 15,
1951 Gainsville, University of Florida Vol. XV. 1951: 239-248.
Music, David W. A Selection of Shape-note Folk Hymns: From Southern United States Tune Books, 1816-61. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions. 2005
Simpson, Christopher,1667. A Compendium of Practical Music. Oxford: Blackwell ,1970
Wedderburn Brothers Gude and Godlie Ballates, 1567

HISTORIC DOCUMENTS
Thomas D'Urfey's Wit and Mirth: Or, Pills to Purge Melancholy.
Graham, G.F. Songs of Scotland. Glasgow, J. Muir Wood 1848-9
Hogg Jacobite Relics II 1821
Walsh, Hare, and Randle's 24 Country Dances for 1708.

INDEX
KIDD MUSIC
KIDD LYRICS
SONGS LIKE
SOURCES IN ABC
Goldenaer Productions

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