1. Traighli Bay

From the recordings Traighli Bay and Water Journeys

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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

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 "Heigh Ho, 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