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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitlePaul Jones
Roud No.967
Collected FromPillinger, John
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 109
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 23rd October, 1915, p 2, Part 4, No. 8
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

It's of an American frigate, from New York she came,
She mounted forty guns, called Massachusetts by name,
A-crossing the channel of old England's fame,
With her saucy commander - Paul Jones was his name.

Verse 2

We had not been sailing long before we spies,
A large forty four, and a twenty likewise:
"Come answer me quickly, I've hailed you before,
Or else a broadside into you I will pour."

Verse 3

We fought them four glasses, four glasses so hot,
Till fourteen dead seamen lay dead on the spot,
And twenty five lay wounded, all covered with gore,
While the guns from proud Paul Jones like thunder did roar.

Verse 4

Our carpenter being frightened, to Paul Jones did say -
"Our ship she makes water since fighting today."
The up spoke proud Paul Jones, in the height of his pride -
"If we cannot do better boys, we'll sink alongside."

Verse 5

And now my brave fellows, we have taken a rich prize,
Here's a large forty four and a twenty likewise;
God help every poor widow that has reason to weep,
For the loss of her dear sons in the ocean so deep.
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'Obtained of John Pillinger, the wooden legged veteran of Sevastopol and a native of Lechlade. Paul Jones was a Scotchman who went to sea and, during the American War with England, commanded various ships for the Colonists. He was a clever and a daring Captain and made many attacks upon British vessels. He died in Paris in 1792. The song is about one hundred and forty years old.'

Note 2

In Verse 5 Line 4 the original text read:

For the loss of their dear sons in the ocean so deep.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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