“THE SINKING OF THE PIRATE ALABAMA”
                                                Lyrics by Silas S. Steele
                                          Philadelphia: J. Magee, 1864
                 American Memory, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Tune: Teddy the Tiler, or Cannibal Islands.

I sing the doom and dark career
Of the Rebel Pirate, made to steer
And plunder our ships, both far and near
The terrible Alabama!
She was built by “neutral! Johnny Bull,”
Who threatened Yankee ears to pull,
Because they dealt in nigger wool;
Tho’ cotton filled his pockets full.
But when Rebellion showed its face
Brave Mr. Bull soon “changed his base,
And on the sly, to his disgrace,
Built the Rebels
Alabamas!

CHORUS: Launch and arm upon the sly,
Hit Uncle Sam, but do it shy,
But you couldn’t shut up his eye,
For he sunk
your Alabama!

She roved the Ocean fierce and free,
And changed her flag in every sea,
Upon our un-armed ships to prey,
This valiant Alabama!
Our cruisers sought her round and round,
She dodged them like a dastard hound
Until her name was quite renowned,
As a witch-craft never to be found
But the bold Kearsarge got in her wake,
And kept her track without mistake,
Till in Cherbourg port, coiled like a snake
She found the
Alabama!

CHORUS: Rob and plunder night and day
Scuttle or burn then skulk away
But you've a reckoning yet to pay,
My valiant
Alabama!

Famed Captain Semmes was in a plight,
He found there was no chance for flight,
So he must either yield or fight,
With his terrible Alabama!
So he piped up his piratic crew
Of French and English, fierce and true,
Says he “well put the Kearsarge through"
And sink her with all France to view.
But Win slow, famed for winning fast,
Soon nailed our Stars unto the mast
While his brave crew shouted, like a blast,
Death or the
Alabama!

CHORUS: Load away, fire away shot and shell,
That’s the tune brave tars to tell,
Stand by--and let her rip, pell mell,
Death or the
Alabama!

Now larboard and starboard seven rounds
With our 32's and 100 pounds,
We shook the French who lined the ground
To cheer the Alabama!
We struck her ’neath the water line,
And through her hull let in the brine,
Till through the smoke we saw a sign
That we had crippled her in the spine,
A shout resounded from our crew,
A cock upon our smoke stack flew,
And in his “cock-a-doddle-do--
Cried how are you
Alabama.”

CHORUS: Load away, fire away shot and shell, &c..

Another broadside made her “cave,”
She stood for France her wreck to save
When down she sunk into the wave,
The used up Alabama.
We lowered boats to save the crew,
And could have nabbed the captain too,
But her tender “Deer-hound” hove in view
And stole our prisoners not a few.
But there’s a reckoning yet to come,
We'll make these sympathizers hum,
Give them what Paddy gave the drum,
As we did the “Alabama!

CHORUS: Here’s glory to our Navy true
To Winslow and brave Thornton too
And three cheers for the Kearsarge crew
That sunk the
Alabama!


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Created and maintained by Lisle Brown, Curator Special Collections
© 2007, Special Collections, Marshall University
speccoll@marshall.edu