When I was barely eighteen years of age
Into the army I did engage.
I left the factory with the full intent
To serve the Forty Second Regiment

To Fullwood Barracks I then did go
To serve a period in that depot.
But out of trouble, well, I could not be
Cause captain Hanson took a dislike to me

While standing sentry all out one day
Some soldiers’ children came about to play,
I took one’s name but not all three
“Neglect of Duty” was the charge on me

For fourteen weeks and thirteen days
My sentence it rose and it turn my brain
To shoot my captain all dead on sight
Was all that I resolved to do each night

I saw him walking on the barracks square
Walking arm in arm with old Colonel Blair
I raised my rifle, and I fired to kill
But shot my poor colonel against my will

I did the deed; I shed his blood,
At Liverpool Assizes my trial I stood;
The judge he said, “Now, McCaffery,
Prepare yourself for the gallows tree”

I have no father for to take my part
I have no mother for to break her heart,
I have one friend, and a girl is she
She’d sweep the clouds for McCaffery

Come all you young fellows; take a warning by me
Have nothing to do with the British army.
For only lies and tyranny
Have made a murderer of McCaffery

What’s This?

Folk Songs You Never Sang in Grade School is one folk musician's effort to document, honor and share a collection of folk songs I love and my personal history with them through research, essays, and performance. Read the essays here and watch this site for future performances.

What’s New?

Tara McGovern and I, joined by uilleann piper Jon Cooper, have completed the album version of Folk Songs You Never Sang in Grade School. For a taste of the CD listen to "Oh, the Wind and Rain/The Quail It Is a Pretty Bird" and "Let No Man Steal Your Thyme."

Oh, the Wind and Rain/The Quail It Is a Pretty Bird
Let No Man Steal Your Thyme