Captain Coulston

DESCRIPTION: Captain Coulston's ship sails for America (carrying Irish emigrants?). She is overtaken by pirates. Following a desperate fight, Coulston and crew defeat the pirate; his wife shoots the pirate chief. They take the pirate ship to America as a prize
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 b.10(58))
KEYWORDS: pirate battle emigration
FOUND IN: Ireland Canada(Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H562, pp. 113-114, "Captain Coulston" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ranson-SongsOfTheWexfordCoast, pp. 78-79, "Captain Coulston" (1 text, 1 tune)
McBride-FlowerOfDunaffHillAndMoreTradSongsInnishowen 15, "Captain Colster" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-TraditionalSingersAndSongsFromOntario 5, "Captain Colstein" (1 text, 1 tune)
Vikár/Panagapka-SongsNorthWoodsSungByOJAbbott 55, "Captain Colstein" (1 text, 1 tune)
Frank-NewBookOfPirateSongs 26, "Captain Coulston" (1 text plus an excerpt, 2 tunes)

Roud #1695
O. J. Abbott, "Captain Coldstein" (on Abbott1)
William Sutton, "Captain Wholesome" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Brigid Tunney, "Captain Colston" (on IRTunneyFamily01)
Paddy Tunney, "Captain Coulson" (on Voice12)

Bodleian, 2806 b.10(58), "Captain Colston", H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Firth b.26(492), Firth c.12(62), Harding B 11(534), Harding B 19(95), 2806 c.15(193), "Captain Colston"; Firth b.25(41/42), "Captain Colston" or "The Pirate Ship"
cf. "The Terrible Privateer" (plot)
Captain Colston
Captain Coulson
NOTES [117 words]: Early versions of this song, such as Sam Henry's, make no mention of emigration; this may have been a later addition.
All versions seem to reveal a not-very-smart pirate: He demands the passengers give up their valuables, and then he'll sink them. In such a context, what choice was there but to fight? - RBW
A number of the texts, including MUNFLA/Leach, say that the passengers "were all teetotallers, except a very few, The lemonade was passed around...." Of the texts I've seen, it is often not the captain's wife who shoots the pirate captain, though she is on board. "There was one young man on the deck and his lover at his side ... And with a pistol ball she took the pirate captain's life." - BS
Last updated in version 5.1
File: HHH562

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