“Captain Conrod”


The singer drunkenly signs aboard "a brig called the Mary belonging to Starr." He goes below and finds the mate has finished his brandy. The captain gives them "salt cod and religion" to eat. "To hell with Starr's Mary and Captain Conrod"

Supplemental text

Captain Conrod
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Creighton, Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia, #108, pp. 232-234.
"Sung by Mr. Ben Henneberry, Devil's Island."

Come, all you young fellows that follow the sea,
Bring your ship to an anchor and listen to me.
Three weeks in the hollows I lay drunk on shore,
Like a frolicksome youth I have wasted my store.

  And sing fall diddle diddle, I diddle I day.

(12 additional stanzas)


[This song is item] dD51 [in Laws's Appendix II].

Creighton-NovaScotia: "According to the singer, this was composed by Harry Rissal, a seaman with whom Mr Henneberry's brother sailed. Starr was the name of a well-known Halifax firm, in sailing ship days, and Captain Conrod a Halifax man." Creighton's Introduction puts an early date of 1929 on her collecting this song. Smith/Hatt Introduction claims Smith's songs were "sung aboard vessels out of Liverpool, Nova Scotia in the '70's, '80's and '90's." I suppose it's possible that the attribution is correct. - BS

Looking at the text of this, I have to think it was intended to be sung to the Derry Down tune (in fact, it looks like a parody of "Red Iron Ore"). But Creighton's tune is not the Derry Down tune. - RBW

Really two songs in one. The song refers to Halifax, N.S., but it was collected in Devil's Island, nearby. - PJS

Cross references


  • Edmund Henneberry, "Captain Conrod" (on NovaScotia1)


  1. Smith/Hatt, p. 14, "The Mary" (1 text)
  2. Creighton-NovaScotia 108, "Captain Conrod" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST SmHa014 (Partial)
  4. Roud #1816
  5. BI, SmHa014


Author: Harry Rissal ?
Earliest date: 1932 (Creighton/Nova Scotia)
Found in: Canada(Mar)