The Ballad of Captain Kidd

Traditional broadside ballad

Audio

This example of "The Ballad of Captain Kidd" is performed by the Jolly Rogers on their 2-CD album Loose Cannons, available from the Chivalry Music store
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Background notes

Captain William Kidd was a Scottish sailor and pirate who was hung for piracy in London on May 23, 1701.  His legend has become bigger than life through songs like this one.  The broadside ballad was  first printed in London in 1701 for the execution and was later printed in the American colonies.  Below is a selection of verses that chronicle his life an death; for even more verses to this song, see: http://www.davidkidd.net/CaptainKiddLyrics.htm

Biography of Captain William Kidd (Wikipedia)

My name was William Kidd, As I sailed, as I sailed,br> My name was William Kidd, When I sailed,
My name was William Kidd; God's laws I did forbid,
And so wickedly I did, As I sailed. 

(last 2 lines X2) My parents taught me well, When I sailed, when I sailed,
My parents taught me well, When I sailed,
My parents taught me well, To shun the gates of hell,
But against them I rebelled, When I sailed. 

I'd a Bible in my hand, When I sailed, when I sailed,
I'd a Bible in my hand, When I sailed,
I'd a Bible in my hand, By my father's great command,
And I sunk it in the sand, When I sailed. 

I murdered William Moore, As I sailed, as I sailed
Oh, I murdered William Moore, As I sailed,
I murdered William Moore, and laid him in his gore,
Thirty leagues from shore, As I sailed. 
(last 2 lines X2) 

And being crueler still, As I sailed, as I sailed
And being crueler still,  As I sailed
The gunner I did kill and his precious blood did spill
As I sailed

I was sick and nigh to death, As I sailed, as I sailed
I was sick and nigh to death, As I sailed,
I was sick and nigh to death, and I vowed with every breath,
To walk in wisdom's ways, When I sailed. 

I thought I was undone, As I sailed, as I sailed
I thought I was undone, As I sailed,
I thought I was undone, and my wicked glass had run,
But health did soon return, As I sailed. 

My repentance lasted not, As I sailed, as I sailed
My repentance lasted not, As I sailed,
My repentance lasted not, my vows I soon forgot,
Damnation was my lot, As I sailed. 

I spied three ships from France, As I sailed, as I sailed
I spied three ships from France, As I sailed,
I spied three ships from France, to them I did advance,
And took them all by chance, As I sailed. 

I spied three ships from Spain, As I sailed, as I sailed
I spied three ships from Spain, As I sailed,
I spied three ships from Spain, I looted them for gain,
Till most of them were slain, As I sailed. 

I'd ninety bars of gold, As I sailed, as I sailed
I'd ninety bars of gold, As I sailed,
I'd ninety bars of gold, And dollars manifold,
With riches uncontrolled, As I sailed. 

Thus being o'ertaken at last, As I sailed, as I sailed
Thus being o'ertaken at last, As I sailed,
Thus being o'ertaken at last, and into prison cast,
And sentence being passed, As I sailed. 

Farewell, the raging main, I must die, I must die,
Farewell, the raging main, I must die,
Farewell, the raging main, to Turkey, France, and Spain,
I shall never see you again, For I must die. 

To the Execution Dock, I must go, I must go,
To the Execution Dock, I must go,
To the Execution Dock, While many thousands flock,
But I must bear the shock, And must die.

Come all ye young and old, And see me die, see me die,
Come all ye young and old, And see me die,
Come all ye young and old, You're welcome to my gold,
For by it I've lost my soul, And must die. 

Take a warning now by me, For I must die, I must die,
Take a warning now by me, For I must die,
Take a warning now by me, And shun bad company,
Let you come to hell with me, For I must die. 

My name was William Kidd, As I sailed, as I sailed,
My name was William Kidd, When I sailed,
My name was William Kidd; God's laws I did forbid,
And so wickedly I did, As I sailed.