The Yankee Privateer

   The Yankee Privateer was written in commemoration of Commodore Abraham Whipple and his ship, The Providence, and his taking of eleven British ships in mid-July 1779. Whipple, commanding a small squadron of only two ships other than his own, was off the Newfoundland coast when he encountered a British fleet of over one-hundred-and-fifty ships. There was a heavy fog, and taking advantage of the cover, Whipple was able to capture the eleven British ships along with their cargo valued at over one million dollars.

Come listen and I'll tell you How first I went to sea,
To fight against the British And earn our liberty.
We shipped with Cap'n Whipple Who never knew a fear,
The Captain of the Providence, The Yankee Privateer.
We sailed and sailed And made good cheer,
There were many pretty men On the Yankee Privateer.
The British Lord High Admiral He wished old Whipple harm,
He wrote that he would hang him At the end of his yard arm.
"My Lord," wrote Cap'n Whipple back,-- "It seems to me it's clear
That if you want to hang him, You must catch your privateer."
We sailed and we sailed And made good cheer,
For not a British frigate Could come near the Privateer.
We sailed to the south'ard, And nothing did we meet
Till we found three British frigates And their West Indian fleet.
Old Whipple shut our ports As he crawled up near,
And he sent us all below On the Yankee Privateer.
So slowly he sailed We dropped to the rear,
And not a soul suspected The Yankee Privateer.
At night we put the lights out And forward we ran
And silently we boarded The biggest merchantman.
We knocked down the watch,- And the lubbers shook for fear,
She's a prize without a shot, To the Yankee Privateer.
We sent the prize north While we lay near
And all day we slept On the bold Privateer.
For ten nights we followed, And ere the moon rose,
Each night a prize we'd taken Beneath the lion's nose.
When the British looked to see Why their ships should disappear,
They found they had in convoy A Yankee Privateer.
But we sailed and we sailed And made good cheer!
Not a coward was on board Of the Yankee Privateer.
The biggest British frigate Bore round to give us chase,
But though he was the fleeter Old Whipple wouldn't race
Till he'd raked her fore and aft, For the lubbers couldn't steer,
Then he showed them the heels Of the Yankee Privateer.
Then we sailed and we sailed And we made good cheer,
For not a British frigate Could come near the Privateer.
Then northward we sailed To the town we all know,
And there lay our prizes, All anchored in a row;
And welcome were we To our friends so dear,
And we shared a million dollars On the bold Privateer.
We'd sailed and we'd sailed And we made good cheer,
We had all full pockets On the bold Privateer.
Then we each manned a ship And our sails we unfurled,
And we bore the Stars and Stripes O'er the oceans of the world,
From the proud flag of Britain We swept the seas clear,
And we earned our independence On the Yankee Privateer.
Then landsmen and sailors, One more cheer!
Here is three times three For the Yankee Privateer!