Oh! Ship mates come, gather, and join in my ditty;
It’s of a terrible battle that happened, of late;
Let each good Union Tar shed a sad tear of pity;
When he thinks of the once gallant Cumberland’s fate.
The eight day of march told a terrible story,
And many a brave tar to this world bid adieu!
Yet our flag it was wrapt in a mantle of glory!
By the heroic deeds of the Cumberland’s crew.
On that ill-fated days, about ten in the morning,
The sky it was clear and bright shone the sun;
The drums of the Cumberland sounded a warning
That told every seaman to stand by his gun,
An Iron clad Frigate down on us came bearing,
And high in the air the Rebel flag flew;
The pennant of Treason she proudly was waving,
Determined to conquer the Cumberland’s crew.
Then up spoke our Captain with stern resolution,
Saying; my boys of this monster now don’t be dismayed
We swore to maintain our beloved Constitution
And to die for our country we are not afraid!
We fight for the union; our causes it is glorious
To the stars and stripes we will stand even true.
We’ll sink at our quarters, or conquer victorious!
Was answered, with cheers from the cumberland’s crow.
Now our gallant ship fired her guns’ dreadful thunder
Her broadside like hail, on the Rebel did pour:
The people gazed on, struck with terror and wonder;
The shot struck his sides, and glanced harmless o’er;
But the pride of our Navy could never be daunted
Tho’ the dead and the wounded her deck they did strew;
And the flag of our Union how proudly it flaunted
Sustained by the blood of the Cumberland’s crew!
Slowly they suck beneath Virginia’s waters
Their voices on earth will ne’er be heard more
They’ll be wept by Columbia’s brave sons and fair daughters!
May their blood be avenged on Virginia’s shore!
Their souls have forever to earth bid adieu!
But the star- spangled Banner above them is flying
It was bailed to the mast by the Cumberland’s crew.
They fought us there hours with stern resolution
Till those Rebels found cannon would never avail them
For the flag of secession has no power to gall them:
Tho’the blood from their scuppers it crimson’d the tide
She struck us a mid ship our planks she did sever;
Her sharp Iron prong pierced our noble ship through
And still, as they sunk on that dark rolling river
we’ll die at our guns! cried the Cumberland’s crew.
Columbia’s sweet birth-right of Freedom’s communion
Thy flag never floated so proudly before
For, the spirits of those the died for the Union
Above its broad folds now exultingly soar!
And when our sailors in battle assemble
God bless our dear banner the Red, White and Blue!
Beneath its bright stars, we’ll causes tyrants to tremble
Or sink at our guns like the Cumberland’s crew.