The Saladin Mutiny (Kenneth Peacock)

See also: Saladin Mutiny (Fowke and Johnston)

And also: The Saladin Mutiny (Helen Creighton)

My name it is George Jones,
I am from the county Clare,
I leaved my agèd 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 of the Saladin -
I shudder at her name,
She was a Valparaiso boat bound
to the Spanish Main;
I shipped as a cabin steward -
that proved my fatal day,
When a demon came on board of us
and led us all astray.

He agreed to work his passage,
the ship was homeward bound,
With copper ore and silver
she was worth manys a thousand pound;
Besides, two cabin passengers
on board of us they come,
The one was Mister Fielding
and the other one was his son.

Being on a Sunday morning
I am sorry to relate,
We took them all by 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.

Being on a Sunday morning
when that bloody deed was done,
Then Fielding came with a Bible
and he swore in every one;
We were like a band of brethren
that was sworn into a pledge,
If it had not been for restrictury
that mght have been the case.

All arms were then thrown overboard
and none the same to keep,
He was our navigator
upon the trackless deep,
Then when we next found Fielding
(the reason he lost his life)
He had a brace of loaded pistols
and besides a carving knife.
Thinking he was for treachery
Ed Gidding he reached the crow,
He was seized by Garvin Galaway
and overboard was thrown.

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.

The very next was agreed upon
before the wind to keep,
We had the world before us,
we were on the trackless deep;
We ofttimes 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 no 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 in 1960 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Mary Ann Galpin [1872-1962] of Codroy, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.887-888, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A very similar variant was collected by Edith Fulton Fowke (Literary Editor) and Richard Johnston (Music Editor) and published as Saladin Mutiny in Folk Songs Of Canada (Waterloo Music Company, Waterloo, ON, 1954).

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 NS. 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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