Barrett's Privateers
Stan Rogers

Audio clip

"Barrett's Privateers" is performed by 3 Pints Gone on their CD The Beaches of St. Valery, available from the Chivalry Music store.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

About the singer/songwriter by Bruce Eder from

Stan Rogers came from Hamilton, Ontario, a six-foot-four poet who started out as a rock bassist before turning to folk music. With his rich voice, he used his music to call to life all of the wonder and mysticism of his native Canada. His singing is occasionally mistaken for that of Gordon Lightfoot, but it's huskier and earthier than Lightfoot's, and his repertoire—made up of song cycles drawn from throughout Canada—is also more tradition-oriented and more mystical. Rogers died in a fire aboard an Air Canada flight at the Cincinnati/Kentucky airport in June 1983, leaving behind a half-dozen albums.

Oh, the year was 1778,
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
A letter of marque came from the King
To the scummiest vessel I’ve ever seen.

God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns, shed no tears.
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier, 
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

Oh, Elcid Barrett cried the town
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
For twenty brave souls, all fisherman, who
Would make for him the Antelope’s crew.

The Antelope sloop was a sickening sight
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
She'd a list to port and her sails in rags
And the cook in the scuppers with the staggers and jags.

On the king’s birthday we set to sea
      How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
It was ninety-one days to Montego Bay
Pumping like madmen all the way.

On the ninety-sixth day we sailed again
      How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
When a bloody great Yankee hove in sight
With our cracked four-pounders we made to fight.

Oh, the Yankee lay low down with gold
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
She was broad and fat and loose in stays
But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days.

Then at length we stood two cables away
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
Our cracked four-pounders made an awful din
But with one fat ball the Yank stove us in.

Oh, the Antelope shook and pitched on her side
     ( "How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!")
Oh Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs
And the maintruck carried off both me legs.

So here I sit in my twenty-third year
     ( "How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!")
It’s been six years since I sailed away 
And I just made Halifax yesterday.