Dollar Bay, a ballad of the sea

The Ballad of Dollar Bay

(Air Traditional – Lord Franklin)

The Earl of Sandwich, a fine ship was she,

As strong as any sailed the salt sea.

But it was not winds or towering waves

that laid her low, but four sailors, cruel knaves.


It was November Seventeen Sixty Five,

Those butchering killers left none alive.

Captain and family in the ocean they threw,

Then followed passengers and honest crew.


McKinley, Quintin, Zickerman and Gidden,

Thought the ship would sink, their crimes be hidden.

With bags of gold and silver, jewels galore,

They took the longboat and rowed for shore.


There in the sand, Spanish dollars they buried,

To New Ross and a rich life they hurried,

But it wasn’t to be, the brave ship was found

Their crime discovered when she ran aground.


The cabin boy, they had left for dead,

Was still aboard when she hit rocks ahead,

  Clinging to life he was finally saved,

And told  of cruel murder he’d braved.


The robbers were soon in the taverns  of Ross,

On bar counters ‘twas gold coin they would toss.

 Where did that come from, the townspeople thought?

It wasn’t long before they were caught.


Then they were taken to that little bay

To show where the rest was hidden away

They gave up the treasure, ‘twas a great haul,

But some say they didn’t uncover it all.


For murder they were told they would die,

But never in graves would peacefully lie.

 As warning their bones in cages were seen

Rattling off Dublin, by Sandymount Green


That little bay where they dug in the sand

Is easy to find, it’s nearby at hand.

 So if it’s treasure and riches you seek,

Go down to Dollar Bay, and dig on that beach.

Duncannon Beach, evening time

Duncannon Beach, evening time

The light by the last wave lingers on fronds

of seaweed fingering wave-wet rocks where

brim-filled pools overflow before they

empty when the water surges then sucks,

surges, then sucks. Small anemones first

finger gently, then kiss hungrily as

they sluice down passing plankton too fine for

my eyes, which greedily feast on the sands

glistening, sunwarmed, lit by the last

light of day while slow footsteps meander

with the gentle waves rhythms, rising, falling,

so calming in my ears, that crest falling

with an almost silent swish, hearbeat’s grace,

footfall pace, soothing place. Salt scented air

embraces me, wrapping me, comforting me.

All troubles tumbled away calmed first,

washed by light where the last wave lingers.

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