The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'Firing Butter; or, Paddy the Valiant'




Copies of this Popular Recitation can always be had
at the Poet's Box, 190 and 192 Overgate, Dunleo,


We sailed from the Downs. in a ship called the Lion,
With fifty brass guns our crew could rely on;
Larboard and starboard we had a bold crew,
Which no equal number of foes could subgue.
Besides, we'd some passengers bound for the West?
One was a Quaker, most curiously dress'd;
And although quite demure, he was a stiff joker,
You'd have thought his backbone was made of a poker.
We'd an Irishman, too, formend one of the crew,
Who never before had worn jazket of blue?
He was butt for the ship, and did cash dirty job,
Such as emptying a bucket or wringing a swab.
For several days we had a fair wind,?
The white cliffs of Albion we left far behind;
Till early one morning the man at the mast
Cries,"Ye O, a strange sail bears down on us fast."
"Prepare then for action," cries the Captain abaft,
"Up hammook, down chest, clear ship fore and aft.'
Then spying the Quaker, "Come, old buckram and starch,
To one of those guns, sir, immediately march,
And help those friend fellows to fight for our Queen."
I tell thee, brave Captain, I'll do no such thing;
If thee and thy crew have come here to   slay,
Thou canst not compel me te take life away :
Thou may stay at thy murderous work if thou will
But Scripture says plainly, 'Thou shalt not kill."
All the blood that is spilt will fill upon thee.
And at the last day witness 'gainst thee I'11 be"
"Never mind that,   old barebones well show you some fun,
you shan't leave the deck till the battle is done."
The Frenchman was bearing down on our quarter,
But when she came   to us she found as a Tartar,
There was one daring Frenchman had just got his hand in
To leap on the   deck where the Quaker was standing!
Samon nipt up an axe, and chopped off his hand clear,
Saying, " Keep thine own ship, friend, what dost thou want
here ?
We fought and we conquered, our victory was sure,'
And partly 'twas ewing to stiff Simon Pure.
Now during the action poor Paddy the swabber
Was kicked about dack and called a landlubber,
But Paddy did't care how much they'd deride him,
If he could but find a sung place to hide in.
At last he found one amoung some barrels of butter,
Where he lay concealed with his heart in flutter,
Till a ball came from the French, who pour'd abrodside in
Slapbang in the butter where Paddy was hiding.
This rather took Paddy by way of sarprise,
And pelted the butter right into his eyes.
Paddy ran upon deck, and fourished his hat-
The sailors all stared at the courage of pat-
Then seizing a gun, a gun, cries, "We'll soon make them stear
The sailors all laughed at pat's greasy appearance,
"Fight on, boys, "says Pat, ye need not be tiring.
For sure it's nothing but dutter they're firing.




previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1880-1900   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(89b)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Firing Butter; or, Paddy the Valiant'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland