Bad Grandpa
The Ballad of Murad the Captain

Grandpa was a pirate from the coast of Barbaree.
He had a score of ships called the Rovers of Salee.
Young Grandpa was a privateer and taken by the Moor
Long before his visit to the folk of Baltimore.

Chorus: Murad, Murad, always feared and cursed.
The Spanish swore to get him, but the Turkman got him first.

Grandpa Murad had a choice, Turk or slave to be.
Allah then became his God and so they set him free.
Grandpa Murad had three names, the early one was Jan.
A Jansen from Old Haarlem, the English called him John.

John Barber had fourteen score men armed with pike and gun.
They roamed the whole Atlantic from Cape to Garvan Dun.
Grandpa ruled Salee with a democratic twist
For pirates were the freest men in yore times to exist.

Grandpa raided Ireland in sixteen thirty-one.
He took O'Driscoll's tenants and sold them by the ton.
Grandpa raided County Cork, town of Baltimore,
And split his English captives among the fourteen score.

Grandpa Murad's pirate ship once ran out of beer.
He sailed it to the Low Country into the port of Veere.
The old wife soon found him there and begged him to return.
His roving ways were far too deep; would she never learn?

Grandpa Murad came to Veere short some forty men.
Grandpa Murad left that port plus two score and ten.
Grandpa Murad had two sons, Anthony and Abe.
He took them to New Amsterdam, their fortunes to be made.

Grandpa was a prisoner of the Malta Knights.
Then he 'scaped in '40 and returned to claim his rights.
The Sultan gave him Safi and the castle there to keep.
Murad and his princess wife were finally at peace.

Grandpa and his lady wife were lords of all they saw.
The great Sultan had favored him, his roguish son-in-law.
The moral of this story is clear for all who hear.
If you would want a quiet life, ... then marry a princess.

Final chorus: Murad, Murad, where did you go wrong?
But if you weren't a rover, then we wouldn't sing your song.

For Lorna Parker Smith, a 12th great-grandaughter of Murad Rais.
by Jim Billiter, (c) 2007
See also The Sack of Baltimore by Thomas Osborne Davis (181445).