Good Ship Cumberland
Johnson & Co. Song Publishers, 18 N. 10th St. Phila.
Good Ship Cumberland.
Come, all ye merry sailors and all ye landsmen too,
Come, listen to a story that I will unfold to you;
It’s all about the Cumberland, that ship so true and brave,
And of her bold and loyal crew, who met a watery grave.
It was early in the morning, just at the break of day,
That the good ship Cumberland at anchor safe did lay,
When the man upon the lookout to those below did cry,
I see something like a housetop—to the larboard it doth lie.
The Captain seized his telescope and gazed far o’er the blue,
Then turning spoke as follows, to his brave and hearty crew;
That things that’s floating yonder, just like a turtle back,
Is that infernal rebel steamer, that they call the Merrimac.
The deck was cleared for action, every gun was pointed true,
Whilst the Merrimac came steaming across the watery blue,
On, on she kept coming till no distance did us part,
Then she sent a ball a humming that stilled the beat of many a heart.
In vain we poured our broadside into her ribs of steel,
Yet still no breach made in her, or damage did she feel;
Then to our bold Commander the rebel Captain spoke—
Haul down your flying colors, or I’ll sink your Yankee boat.
Our Captain’s eye did glisten and his cheek grew white with rage,
And to the Rebel pirate in a voice of thunder said,
My men are brave and loyal, my flag shall ever stand—
Before I strike my colors you may sink us and be d——d !
Then the iron-clad monster left us some hundred yards or more,
And, with her whistle screaming, at our wooden sides she bore;
She struck us right amidship, and her ram went crashing through,
And the water came in rushing upon our gallant crew.
Then turning to his gallant crew that bold commander said,
I will never strike my colors while the vessel rides the wave;
I’ll go down with flag a flying into a watery grave,
But you, my gallant comrades, may seek your lives to save.
They swore they’d never leave him, and manned their guns afresh,
And poured broadside after broadside, till the water reached their
And as she sank far down, far down in the briny deep, [breasts;
The stars and stripes were flying from the maintop’s highest peak.