Saladin Mutiny (Fowke and Johnston)

See also: The Saladin Mutiny (Kenneth Peacock)

And also: The Saladin Mutiny (Helen Creighton)

My name it is George Jones,
I am from the county Clare,
I leaved my ancient parents
and I leaved them living there;
I fell in bent for roving,
'twas home I could not stay,
So, much against my parents' will,
I shipped and went to sea.

I shipped on board the Saladin -
I shudder at her name,
She was a Valparaiso boat
bound to the Spanish Main;
I shipped as cabin steward -
that proved my fatal day,
When a demon came on board of us
and led us all astray.

He said he'd work his passage.
The ship was homeward bound,
With copper ore and silver
worth many thousand pounds;
Besides, two cabin passengers
on board of us did come,
The one was Mr Fielding
and the other one was his son.

Being on a Sunday morning
I'm sorry to relate,
We started this desperate enterprise
and first we killed our mate;
And next we killed the carpenter
and overboard him threw,
Our captain he did soon meet death
with four more of our crew.

An oath was next administered
to all the rest of the crew,
And like a band of brothers
we were sworn to be true;
Being on a Sunday morning
when that bloody deed was done,
Then Fielding brought a Bible
and swore in every one.

The firearms and weapons all
we threw into the sea,
He said he'd steer for Newfoundland,
to which we did agree;
We found with Captain Fielding
(for which he lost his life)
A brace of loaded pistols,
likewise a carving knife.

His son he begged for mercy
for he was all alone,
But his sad tale was soon cut short
and overboard was thrown;
We served him as his father
who met a watery grave,
We buried son and father
beneath the stormy waves.

And next it was agreed upon
before the wind to keep,
We had the world before us,
we were on the trackless deep;
We oft' times kept before the wind
as we could do no more,
And on the twenty-ninth of May
were shipwrecked on shore.

To Newgate we were taken,
bound down in iron chain,
Confessing to our deadly crimes
and all whom we had slain;
So fare you well, my parents dear,
I'll never see you more,
So fare you well, my own sweetheart,
you're the girl that I adore.

####.... Variant of a North American ballad, George Jones [Laws D20] Native American Balladry (G Malcolm Laws, 1964) ....####
Collected by Edith Fulton Fowke (Literary Edtor) and Richard Johnston (Music Editor) and published in Folk Songs Of Canada (Waterloo Music Company, Waterloo, ON, 1954).

A variant was also collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1960 from Mrs Mary Ann Galpin [1872-1962] of Codroy, NL, and published as The Saladin Mutiny in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.887-888, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A true incident which happened in 1843. Kenneth Peacock noted that both this ballad and the Charles Augustus Anderson variant tell the story of the mutiny aboard the English barque Saladin captained by Sandy MacKenzie, the soft-hearted skipper who took pity on a Mr Fielding and his son in Valparaiso, Chile, where they were stranded without funds. The Fieldings led a mutiny with the purpose of seizing money from the ship's strong-box and later planned to abandon her off the coast of Newfoundland. The sailors, in turn, mutinied against the Fieldings and threw them overboard. The original plan of abandonment was carried forward, but without a skilled navigator the ship ran aground on the rocky shore of Guysborough County in Nova Scotia. The survivors finally confessed the whole bloody story, and the ringleaders were hanged in Halifax on July 30, 1844. In this Newfoundland variant the mutineers are taken to Newgate prison in London.


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