“Our Captain Calls All Hands (Fighting for Strangers)”


"Our Captain called all hands and away tomorrow, Leaving those girls behind." She says "What makes you go abroad fighting for strangers?" Stay here "free from all danger." He leaves. In grief "she fell like one a-dying."


This is not "The Bold Privateer." [I agree, and so does Roud, though Huntington implies that they are the same. - RBW]

Vaughan Williams used the tune to set the words of John Bunyan's hymn starting "He who would valiant be 'gainst all disaster" (see Southern Life(UK) Sussex villages site for Monk's Gate). - BS

The title "Fighting for Stranger" is not, to my knowledge, found in tradition, but since that is the title Steeleye Span used, in what is probably the best-known recording, I've listed it here. - RBW


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(636), "The Distressed Maid" ("Our captain calls all hands away to morrow"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also 2806 c.18(93)[a few illegible lines], Firth c.12(210), Harding B 25(525), "The Distressed Maid"; Firth c.12(208)[illegible lines], "The Distress'd Maid"


  • Pop Maynard, "Our Captain Calls All Hands" (on Voice01)


  1. Peacock, pp. 416-417, "All Hands Away Tomorrow" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 99-100, "The Captain Calls All Hands" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #602
  4. BI, Pea416


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1832 (Journal of the Bengal)
Found in: Britain(England(Lond)) Canada(Newf)