#00779 Print This Page
Come all ye human countrymen with pity lend an ear,
And hear my feeling story; you can't but shed a tear;
I'm held in close confinement and bound in irons strong,
Surrounded by stony granite walls and sentenced to be hung.
Charles Augustus Anderson is my right and proper name,
Since I have been in custody I ne'er denied the same;
I came from decent parents although I die in scorn,
And believe me now I much lament that ever I was born.
It was my sad misfortune that brought me to this place,
To die an ignominious death, my parents to disgrace;
With sorrow when I parted them, their hearts were pierced thro',
Their sorrows were not worn away before they will renew.
My father was a shipwright, I might have been the same,
He taught me good examples, to him I leave no blame;
Likewise my tender mother, who for me suffered sore,
When she hears this sad announcement I'm sure she'll suffer more.
O, Dear and loving Mother, If I could but see your face,
I'd kiss thy lips of tenderness, and take my last embrace;
I'd bathe you in my tears of grief before my final hour,
I'd then submit myself to God, to His holy will and power.
Brothers and sisters all, adieu, who are near and dear to me,
So far beyond the ocean, whose faces I ne'er shall see;
The happy days I spent with you on my native shore,
Farewell, sweet Udavilla, I will never see you more.
Ah, if I could recall my days again, how happy I would be,
To live at home amongst my friends, in love and unity;
When I think of former innocence, and those I left behind,
'Tis God and only Him that knows the horrors of my mind.
No books of consolation are here that I can read,
I profess the Church of England, by nation I'm a Swede;
Those words that are addressed to me, I can't well understand,
I must die like a heathen here in a foreign land.
It's near the town of Gottenborg where I was bred and born,
Here in the city of Halifax I end my life in scorn;
Pity my misfortunes and a warning take from me,
Shun all evil company and beware of mutiny.
Since I left my tender parents, it's but a few years ago,
Of the dreadful fate that awaits me, it's little I did know;
I got into bad company who have seduced me,
For to become a murderer and a pirate on the sea.
I shipped on board the Saladin, as you may understand,
She was bound to Valparaiso, MacKenzie had command;
We arrived there in safety without the least dismay,
When Fielding came on board of us, curse on that fatal day.
'Twas him that seduced us to do that horrid crime,
Though we might have prevented it if we had thought in time;
We shed the blood of innocence, the same we don't deny,
And stained our hands in human blood, for which we have to die.
Oh, God, I fear Your vengeance, and judgment much I dread,
To stand before Your judgment-seat with my hands imbued in blood;
I deserve Your indignation, but Your pardon still I crave,
Oh, Lord, have mercy on my soul beyond the gloomy grave.
The sheriff and his officers all came to him in gaol,
He knew their awful message well but never seemed to fail;
They placed the fatal halter on, to end all shame and strife,
With his own hands he greased the cord that cut the thread of life.
He was led to the gallows and placed on that awful stand,
He viewed the briny ocean and then the pleasant land;
The rope adjusted through the ring which quickly stopped his breath,
So ended his career in the violent jaws of death.
Collected from Miss Germaine at the Fraser Nursing Home, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and published in Maritime Folk Songs (Ryerson Press, Toronto, Ontario, 1962).
A variant was collected in 1958 from Mrs. Thomas (Annie) Walters of Rocky Harbour, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Saladin Mutiny in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.867-868, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.
Note: A true incident which happened in 1843. See The Saladin Mutiny for Kenneth Peacock's background notes.