Drowning of Thomas Murphy


You feeling hearted Christians, I beg you now draw near
And kindly pay attention to the song I’d have you hear
Concerning a young hero of honoured birth and fame
Who lost his life, so we are told, all on the watery main

While in his native country, at home he would not stay
ln hopes to gain his fortune, this youth, he put to sea
Some time he spent in merriment; in this he took delight
But I’ll tell you how he lost his life on a lonely winter’s night

He bid farewell to Ireland, to England he took flight
He shipped on board The Dolphin and she was a glorious sigh
With thirty fine young heroes, of courage stout and bold
Along with Captain Wilson, who never was controlled

’twas from the docks of Liverpool, our gallant ship set sail
On the eighteenth day of April, with a sweet and pleasant gale
Bound for the coast of Africa, that wild Atlantic shore
We bid farewell to all the friends we never might see more

When our good ship was freighted, our captain he did say
Cheer up my hardy British boys, make ready for the sea
We’re homeward bound for England, the land that we adore
And we’ll drink a round of bumpers full when on our native shore

After an eight weeks’ passage, our ship a leak she sprung
Our captain cries ‘Cheer up, my boys, I fear we are undone
We’re far away from any port; no ship is drawing nigh
Make ready, lower the long boats or in the deep we’ll lie’

’twas then we lowered the long boats and put them off to sea
We bid farewell to our fine ship; we could no longer stay
We had no way to guide our boats but from the sea and sky
No comfort could we find that day, but from the God on high

Coming towards the evening, our mate, he sighted land
He said unto his comrade-boys ‘Relief it is nigh hand’
With courage bold we made the shore in hopes our lives to save
But then our boat, she struck the shore and was burst in by a wave

Fourteen was our number; twelve of them were drowned
Ten of them were washed ashore; two more could ne’er be found
There was a man amongst them, I grieve to let you know
His name was Thomas Murphy, the pride of Curracloe


Song Clip



Song Themes

Songs of the sea