“The Spanish Captain”


A Spanish captain and his beautiful wife and daughter, bound for Newfoundland, are killed in a shipwreck near Cape Spear. The singer seems to have been one of the crew and laments the loss of the captain and his family.


There is a formulaic introduction to the song where the Muses are called upon to help the singer and the public is promised not to be delayed too much in the telling. Cape Spear is the most eastern point in North America. - SH

Editor's Nitpick: Technically, the easternmost point in North America (that is, the point with the most eastern longitude) is in Alaska, since it is the only part of North America to be in the eastern hemisphere. Cape Spear is the easternmost point in the Western Hemisphere.

This song is item dD33 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW

Lehr/Best: (viz., Best) In verses 5 and 6 "The smoke lay flying o'er the hills and pitching on the sea .... The Margrietta was our ship's name ...." "The Margrietta referred to is very likely the Mayaquezanna, a Spanish brig lost at Blackhead, near Cape Spear, on 14 August 1876. Both the captain and his wife were drowned." Northern Shipwrecks Database: Mayaquezana/Maguezana stranded in smoke with 2 or 3 lost. - BS


  • Anita Best, "The Spanish Captain" (on NFABest01)
  • Omar Blondahl, "The Spanish Captain" (on NFOBlondahl01)


  1. Greenleaf/Mansfield 137, "The Spanish Captain" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Doyle2, pp. 38-39, "The Spanish Captain" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Lehr/Best 102, "The Spanish Captain" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Blondahl, pp. 87-88, "The Spanish Captain" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #4079
  6. BI, Doy38


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1929 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
Found in: Canada(Newf)