“Mulberry Disaster”


A storm-tossed ship is blown near Mulberry. The crew abandon ship. One of the boats overturns, drowning five of its seven passengers. The rest of the piece is devoted to mourning for the lost sailors

Supplemental text

Mulberry Disaster
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Hartness Flanders and Marguerite Olney, Ballads
Migrant in New England, pp. 114-115. Transcribed in 1939 from
a manuscript, probably of the nineteenth century, written by
Louisa Nutting Bradley.

Come all you good people of every degree;
And listen with attention one moment to me,
For a sorrowful story I mean to relate,
Of a mournful disaster that happened of late.

Oh Mulberry trembled at that awful stroke;
Consider the voice of Jehoval (sic.) that spoke.
To teach us we are mortal, and exposed to death;
And subject each moment to yield up our breath.

(13 additional stanzas)


For a song so long, and so specific as to place and date, this is surprisingly unspecific about the actual people involved -- a moniker song without the monikers! This makes it hard to determine actual historical details. - RBW

Historical references

  • Dec 12, 1800 - date of the Mulberry Disaster (according to the song)


  1. Flanders/Olney, pp. 114-117, "Mulberry Disaster" (1 text, 1 tune); cf. also the fragment about Calais Pond on page 119
  2. ST FO114 (Partial)
  3. Roud #4678
  4. BI, FO114


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (Flanders/Olney)
Keywords: death sea storm wreck
Found in: US(NE)