“Bold Kidd, the Pirate”


The singer's ship is newly put to sea when she spots a pirate. The mate identifies the ship as Captain Kidd's. The captain turns about and flees. After a long chase, she escapes

Supplemental text

Bold Kidd, the Pirate
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Hartness Flanders and Marguerite Olney, Ballads
Migrant in New England, pp. 16-17. From Dr. Lucille Palmer,
Kingston, Rhode Island. Collected 1945.

'Twas the (8th, 12th?) of October
We set out to sea.
(Two lines here, I think)
WE'd not been sailing one day
Or two days, or three,
When the watch in the mizzen (?)
A strange sail did see.

"Great God," cried the first mate (?)
"Whate'er shall we do?
That is Bold Kidd, the pirate,
And he'll (she'll) heave us to."

(Stanzas 1, 3 of about 5)


For background on Captain Kidd, see the notes to "Captain Kidd" [Laws K35]. It seems highly unlikely, however, that this song is contemporary with Kidd; it doesn't appear to fit Kidd's actual behavior. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1699 - Arrest of Captain William Kidd in Boston
  • May 23, 1701 - Execution of Captain Kidd

Cross references


  1. Flanders/Olney, pp. 16-18, "Bold Kidd, the Pirate" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST FO016 (Partial)
  3. Roud #528
  4. BI, FO016


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1945 (Flanders/Olney)
Keywords: escape pirate sea
Found in: US(NE)