Henry Martin

"Henry Martin" lyrics and music traditional, Child Ballad #167

Performed by Marc Gunn
From: Not Every Day Is St Patrick's Day


There were three brothers in merry Scotland,
In Scotland there lived brothers three,
And they did cast lots which of them should go,
should go, should go,
To turn robber all on the salt sea.

The lot it fell upon Henry Martin,
The youngest of all of the three;
That he should turn robber all on the salt sea,
Salt sea, salt sea,
To maintain his two brothers and he.

He had not been sailing but a long winter's night
And part of a short winter's day,
When he espied a lofty, stout ship,
stout ship, stout ship,
Come sailing down on him straight way.

Hello! Hello! cried Henry Martin,
What makes you sail so high?
I'm a rich merchant ship bound for fair London Town,
London Town, London Town,
Will you please for to let me pass by?

Oh no! Oh no! cried Henry Martin,
That thing it never can be,
For I have turned robber all on the salt sea
Salt sea, salt sea,
To maintain my two brothers and me.

So lower your topsail and braize up your mizz'n
And bow yourselves under my lee,
Or I shall give you a fast flowing ball,
flowing ball, flowing ball,
And your dear bodies will drown in the sea.

With broadside and broadside and at it they went
For fully two hours and three,
Till Henry Martin gave to her the deathshot,
the deathshot, the deathshot,
And straight to the bottom went she.

Bad news, bad news, to old England came,
Bad news to fair London Town,
There was a rich vessel and she's cast away,
cast away, cast away,
And all of her merry men drown'd.

St Patrick's Day Celtic Music

Chords: KEY Dm

[Dm]There were three brothers in [C]merry [Dm]Scotland,
In [G]Scotland there [G]lived brothers [A]three,
And [Dm]they did cast lots which of them should [F]go,
should [Gm]go, should [A]go,
To turn [F]robber all [C]on the salt [Dm]sea.


This traditional Scottish folk is about a seafarer who turns to piracy to support his two older brothers. The original ballad is based on the story of Andrew Bartin.

Henry Martin Videos

from Not Every Day Is St Patrick's Day CD


from Brobdingnagian Bards' CD Songs of Ireland







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