The Female Smuggler (Kenneth Peacock) video
#2467: YouTube video by Pete Castle
©2015 ~ Used with permission ~

Come listen awhile and you soon shall hear
Of a comely maiden I do declare,
Her father he followed the smuggling trade,
Like a war-like hero,
Like a war-like hero
she never was afraid.

With two loaded pistols she went on board,
Down by her side hung a glittering sword,
In her belt two daggers, well-armed for war
Stood the female smuggler,
Stood the female smuggler saying,
"I never feared a scar."

They had not sailèd long on the deep
Before they spied oh that Turkish fleet.
"They are sea-robbers," young Jane did cry,
But said she to her father,
But said she to her father,
"We will conquer them or die."

They beat those robbers and saved their store,
And they soon returned to old England's shore.
With her keg of brandy she marched along,
Did the female smuggler,
Did the female smuggler
and she sweetly sang a song.

But the commodore oh from the blockade
He said, "Surrender!" to that pretty maid.
He said, "Surrender, or you shall fall."
Said the female smuggler,
Said the female smuggler,
"I never feared a ball."

Said she then unto the commodore,
"I will bravely fight for my father's store."
She pulled the trigger and she shot him through,
Did the female smuggler,
Did the female smuggler
and to her father flew.

But she was followed from the blockade,
And in irons strong they put that fair maid.
Next morning when she was brought forth to be tried
'Twas the female smuggler,
'Twas the female smuggler,
she stood dressed just like a bride.

The commodore he then on her gazed,
To see that fair one he was amazed,
'Twas there he found to his great surprise
'Twas the female smuggler,
'Twas the female smuggler,
she had fought him in disguise.

The commodore to the jury said:
"My mind won't let me persecute that maid,
I will beg her pardon upon my knees,
For she's a gallant maiden,
For she's a gallant maiden
so pardon her if you please."

"I will pardon her," the wise judge replied.
Said the commodore, "I will make her my bride."
Now they lived happy forevermore,
Did the female smuggler,
Did the female smuggler
with her young commodore.

####.... Variant of a 19th -century British broadside ballad, The Female Sailor, publisher and date unknown, archived at Glasgow Broadside Ballads in the Murray Collection, shelfmark: Mu23-y4034 ....####

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 2, pp.333-334, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that he was sure a broadside of this ballad must exist, but he had never seen it mentioned in any of the better-known collections. Even without comparative variants, however, one can tell this Newfoundland text is in virtually perfect condition. Everything rhymes, and the story seems complete. Even at the age of nearly ninety, Mrs Galpin's memory was irreproachable.

The video above features a variant performed by Pete Castle [b.1947] of Ashford, Kent, UK. Pete is a folksinger and storyteller who started playing guitar around age 15. He was inspired by the Shadows, but with the 60s Merseybeat boom he travelled from pop to R&B. After forming a band himself, he volunteered to be the band's singer "until we can find a proper singer".


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