“Brigantine Sirocco”


The Sirocco/Sorocco/Sinorca/Sirorca springs a leak and lays aground at Shelburne. The leak is found and fixed.

Supplemental text

Brigantine Sirocco
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

Brigantine Sinorca

From Helen Creighton, Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia, #106, pp. 228-229.
"Sung by Mr. Richard Hartlan, South-East Passage." A fragment; this is
probably the last verse or nearly.

Oh, now we're off of Shelburne
  And there we lay aground,
The caulkers they go round her
  And soon her leak was found.
They caulk her up with oakum
  As tight as tight could be,
And squared away our yards
  And we put her out to sea.

Then it's watch her, trig her,
  See her how she goes,
Her stuns'ls and her staysails set
  The wind began to blow.
She's one of the fastest sailers
  That ever sailed the sea,
She's the brigantine Sinorca,
  She belongs to Port Medway.


No two versions of this song seem to give the ship the same name. I've called the song "Brigantine Sirocco" because that's the only title that means anything in a language I know. A sirocco is a desert wind, not exactly suitable for a ship -- but it's also a fast wind, so maybe it makes sense.

The other possibility is that "Sinorca" is a corruption of "Saint (something-or-other)," and the rest corruptions of that. But only one of the four names known to me starts with the S[?]n phoneme combination; the others are S[?]r. So I think Sinorca a secondary corruption, probably of something like "Sirorca." - RBW


  1. Smith/Hatt, p. 15, "Brigantine Sorocco" (1 text)
  2. Creighton-NovaScotia 106, "Brigantine Sinorca" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST SmHa015 (Full)
  4. Roud #1814
  5. BI, SmHa015


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1932 (Creighton-Nova Scotia)
Keywords: sea ship
Found in: Canada(Mar)