Cumberland, The [Laws A26]

DESCRIPTION: The crew of the Cumberland, attacked by the CSS Virginia/Merrimac, fight back as best they can, though their shot bounces off the Confederate's armored hull. The Cumberland fights until it is rammed and sunk and goes down with all flags flying
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Good Old Time Songs #4; 19C (broadside, LOCSinging cw102120; cf. Edwin Wolf 2nd, _American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870_, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963, pp. 52-53, "Good Ship Cumberland," listing seven broadside prints)
KEYWORDS: Civilwar ship
March 8, 1862 - U.S. frigates Congress and Cumberland sunk by the CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack). The Minnesota runs aground; had not the Monitor arrived the next day, the Merrimac would have sunk that ship also
FOUND IN: US(MA,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Laws A26, "The Cumberland"
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 16, "The 'Merrimac'" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 11, "The Cumberland and the Merrimac" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 909-910, "The Cumberland and the Merrimac" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 225, "The Cumberland" (1 text plus extensive excerpts from a broadside version)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 131, "Maggie Mac" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #787, pp. 52-53, "Good Ship Cumberland" (7 references)
Silber-SongsOfTheCivilWar, pp. 256-257, "The Cumberland and the Merrimac" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #630
Orlo Brandon, "The 'Merrimac'" (on GreatLakes1)
"Yankee" John Galuha, "The Cumberland and the Merrimac" [excerpt] (on USWarnerColl01)

LOCSinging, cw102120, "The Good Ship Cumberland," A. W. Auner (Philadelphia), 19C; also cw102130, "Good Ship Cumberland"
cf. "The Cumberland Crew" [Laws A18] (subject)
cf. "Iron Merrimac" (subject)
Raging Canal (per broadsides LOCSinging cw102120 and cw102130)
Good Ship Cumberland
NOTES [126 words]: For historical background on this song, see the notes to "The Cumberland Crew" [Laws A18].
To tell this song from "The Cumberland Crew," refer to this text:
Come all my jolly seamen, likewise you landsmen too.
It is a dreadful story I will unfold to you.
It's all about the Cumberland, the ship so true and brave,
And it's many the loyal seamen that met a wat'ry grave.
Was early in the morning, just at the break of day,
When our good ship the Cumberland lay anchored in the bay (cj.)
When a man from our masthead to those below did cry (cj.)
"There's something up to windward like a housetop I espy."
[In the above sample, (cj.) means "conjecture," i.e. it's my guess as to what the text originally read although the extant texts are damaged.] - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: LA26

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.