You may smile if you've a mind to, but perhaps you'll lend an ear
We've been men & boys together well on for fifty years
We've sailed upon the ocean in summer's pleasant days
And in the stormy winter when the howling winds did rage
I've been tossed about on George's Shoals, been fishing down the Bay
Down south in early summer 'most anywhere would pay.
I've sailed in different vessels to the Western Banks and Grand,
Likewise in herring vessels that sail to Newfoundland
And I've seen rough times, I tell you, when things looked rather blue
But somehow or another, I was lucky and got through;
But I'll not brag, oh no sir - I won't say much; but then
I'm not much easier frightened than most of other men.
Oh that night as we sere sailing, we were off shore a ways
I never shall forget it in all my mortal days.
It was in those dark night watches I felt a chilling dread
Come over me as if I heard a calling from the dead.
Then right o'er our rail came climbing, all silent, one by one,
A dozen dripping sailors. I thought my time had come.
Their faces pale and sea-wet shone ghostly through the night
Each one took a station as if he had a right
They moved about, and sailed our ship 'til land was just in sight
Or rather, I should say, it was the lighthouse tower's light
And then those ghostly sailors moved to the rail again
And vanished in an instant before us sons of men
We sailed right in the harbor, and every mother's son
Will tell you the same story the same as I have done.
The trip before that voyage - we were on George's then,
We'd run down another vessel and sank her and her men.
And these were the same poor fellers, I hope God rest their souls
That our old craft run under that night on George's Shoals.
So now you've heard my story, it's just the way I say.
And I have believed in spirits from that time to this day