From the recording Traighli Bay
The writer of this song, Al Parrish, reasoned that if pirating was so unprofitable as songs and stories make out, nobody would have bothered trying it at all. Here’s a song in testament to the pirates and their efforts.
It was June and it was hot, when on board the ship we got With shot and powder for the guns and a hogshead full of rum And salt cod to last until the winter squalls We made for the southwest where the hunting would be best Where the Spanish ships of trade down with Aztec silver laden Were the fairest game for gentlemen of fortune
Chorus: And with tar on our pigtails and blood on our rapiers We'll fly the skull and crossbones. By God, we'll take no prisoners It's hiho away boys, we'll sail from Traighli Bay boys Hoist the Jolly Roger at the break of day
From up the crowsnest then, called the third mate, Mr. Flynn "Set the course and hold 'er steady and for action make 'er ready There's a Spanish merchant off the starbord bow" We raised the black flag high, fast the Spaniard turned to fly We followed in her wake until we could overtake And dismasted her with chain from cannon fired
We pulled up alongside with our grappling hooks and lines Guns and cutlasses in hand on the gunwales we did stand Every hand from the Captain to the cabin boy Saw three dead the chains had flayed, then we raised and crossed our blades To their mates we gave our best as the sun set in the west With pikes and swords, pistols, fists and feet
From the darkness till the dawn as the battle raged on We fought with manly fitness as we meant to leave no witness We lost Mr. Flynn and one leg from the cabin boy But with their treasure we retired and we set a canvas fire Left her sinking to the deep where their silent bones will sleep And we forged a leg of gold for the cabin boy
It was August and still warm when to Traighli we returned Fifty-eight days on the main and we've no need to sail again We've gold and silver more than we could spend Now half a century has passed and of that crew I am the last Fifty years I've roamed these docks and when I get a chance to talk I tell of how I got this golden leg.
And with tar on our pigtails and blood on our rapiers We flew the skull and crossbones. By God we took no prisoners It's “Heigh Ho, Away” boys, we sailed from Traighli Bay boys Hoist the Jolly Roger at the break of day