Monday, 2 May 2011

Ola Captain Kidd!

It's Captain Kidd month ALL May on Tales of The us celebrate the 310th anniversary of his execution  on May 23rd, with all manner of Kidd malarkey including film, classic stories, comedy, music, documentary, drama and song. Yes...there's really that much stuff.

If you don't know who Captain Kidd is, or his unfortunate story, have a quick read of one of our earliest posts...Captain Kidd - Greenock Folk Hero.

Lets get the obvious bit out the way we actually believe Captain Kidd comes from Greenock?
Honestly? It's not important. Did Dracula really visit Whitby? Did Robin Hood live in Sherwood Forest?
We're folklorists, and folklore and tradition tell us Kidd was from Greenock, from being mentioned in the famous ballad, to having a local descendant living here til very recently, Greenock is most definetly linked with Kidd...we just don't really care. This month, we'll try and change your mind...

First up, from the Downriver CD, a classy recording of The Ballad of Captain Kidd by Graeme McLeod, which nicely captures the resigned good humour of a Greenock man on his way to hang...

The Ballad of Captain Kidd

My name was William Kidd;
God's laws I did forbid,
And so wickedly I did,
When I sailed. 

My parents taught me well,
To shun the gates of hell,
But against them I rebelled,
When I sailed. 

I spied three ships from Spain,
I looted them for gain,
Till most of them were slain,
As I sailed. 

I'd ninety bars of gold,
And dollars manifold,
With riches uncontrolled,
As I sailed. 

Thus being o'ertaken at last,
And into prison cast,
And sentence being passed,
As I sailed.

My repentance lasted not,
My vows I soon forgot,
Damnation was my lot,
As I sailed,

Here lies William Kidd, 
A hero from Greenock town
In spite of all the things he did
He never let us down
Here Lies William Kidd

Come all ye young and old,,
You're welcome to my gold,
For by it I've lost my soul,
And must die. 

Take a warning now by me,
And shun bad company,
Let you come to hell with me,
For I must die.

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