Bold McCarthy (Kenneth Peacock)
(The City Of Baltimore)

Come all ye true-born lrishmen,
A story I will tell,
Concerning bold McCarthy,
In Liverpool did dwell;
Down by the western dock one day,
Where McCarthy chanced to stray,
On board of a western ocean boat,
He stowed himself away.

As we pulled out of the river one day,
For New York we were bound,
The lrish lad was stowed away,
Leaving his native ground;
The lrish lad was stowed away,
Leaving his native shore,
On board of a western ocean boat,
The City of Baltimore.

So early every morning,
When the first mate calls his crew,
So early every morning,
He will put those sailors through,
Saying, "Where is that slob of an lrishman,
What makes him stow away?"
"Now here I am," McCarthy cries,
"What have you now to say?"

"I own I am an Irishman,
And that I can't deny,
Before I'll be put down by you,
It's on this deck I'll die.
If you are a man of courage,
It's me you'll stand before,
I'll fight you here right on the deck,
Of the City of Baltimore."

Our mate he was a cowardly man,
Before him would not stand,
He ran at bold McCarthy,
With an iron pin in his hand.
McCarthy was a smart young chap,
Soon left him in his gore,
There was blood and murder on the deck,
Of the City of Baltimore.

Our captain being a Scotchman,
MacDonald was his name,
And when he heard what was going on,
Straight forward then he came;
He took McCarthy by the hand,
Saying, "Do not fight any more,
And I'll make you an officer in my ship,
The City of Baltimore."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Bold McCarthy (The City of Baltimore) [Laws K26] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Collected in 1959 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Clara Sophia Stevens [1916-1978] of Bellburns, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports , Vol 3, pp.860-861, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Two variants were sung in 1951, one by George Hatfield [1865-?] of Tors Cove, NL, and another by John Connors [1890-1971] of Placentia, NL, and published as City Of Baltimore in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Notes: The SS City of Baltimore was a 330-foot, 2368-ton passenger vessel built in 1855 as a transatlantic liner by Tod & McGregor, Glasgow, Scotland. Originally owned by the Inman Line of Liverpool, her first voyage took place on March 20, 1855, when she left Liverpool for Marseilles to act as a transport in the Crimean War. She returned a year later for an overhaul and made her first commercial sailing on April 23, 1856, from Liverpool to Philadelphia. In 1874, the City of Baltimore was sold to the Hall Line and renamed the Fivaller. In 1882 she was sold to Spanish owners who renamed her the Benicarlo. She was scrapped three years later in 1885.
© Clyde-Built Ship Database updated by Bruce Biddulph from original records by Stuart Cameron.


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