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Henry Martin

This song is by Brian Peters and appears on the album Sharper Than The Thorn (1997).

There were three brothers in merrry Scotland
In Scotland there lived brothers three,
And they have cast lots for to see which of them,
Which of them, which of them,
Should go sailing all on the salt sea

The lot it fell out on young Henry Martin,
The youngest of these brothers three,
That he should go sailing all on the salt sea,
The salt sea, the salt sea,
To maintain his two brothers and he

We had not been a-sailing on a cold winter's morning
Three hours before it was day
Before we espied a lofty tall ship,
A tall ship, a tall ship,
Come a-sailing all on the salt sea

"Hallo, hallo," cries bold Henry Martin,
"How dare you come sailing so nigh?"
"We're a rich merchant ship bound for old England,
Old England, old England,
Won't you please for to let us pass by?"

"Oh, no, no, no," cries bold Henry Martin,
"That never, no, never can be,
For I am turned pirate all on the salt sea,
The salt sea, the salt sea,
To maintain my two brothers and me.

"Take down your top royal, cut away your main mast,
Come hither in under my lee,
For I will take from you all of your flowing gold,
Flowing gold, flowing gold,
And return your fair bodies to sea."

Then broadside and broadside we valiantly fought,
We fought for four hours or more,
Till at last Henry Martin gave her a dead shot,
A dead shot, a dead shot,
And straight to the bottom she goes

Sad news, sad news, to you bold English heroes,
Sad news I have for to tell,
There is one of your rich ships got sunk off the land,
Off the land, off the land,
And all of your merry men drowned


  • Child Ballad 250

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