The murder of Domenico Cataldo by Maria Barbella and the murder of Capt. Joseph White by Richard Crowninshield, John Knapp and Joseph Knapp.
There is no tune to go along with these anonymous verses about Maria Barbella so it may be a poem rather than a song:
‘Tis not for me to speak aloud
On lofty themes, I tell
As one among the lowly crowd
How young Maria fell.
Swift as a flash a glittering blade
Across his throat she drew,
‘By you,’ she shrieked, ‘I’ve been betrayed;
The vengeance is my due'
Behold her new, a wounded dove:
A native of a clime
Where hearts are melted soon with love
And maddened soon to crime.
This ballad about the murder of Joseph White, sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne,” was originally ten stanzas long. Thankfully, Ms. Burt has selected only the most pertinent:
The Ballad of Joseph White
O what a horrid tale to sound
In this our land to tell,
That Joseph White of Salem Town
By ruffian hands he fell!
Perhaps for money or for gain
This wicked deed was done;
But if for either, great the pain
This murderer must be in
Oh the infernal of the damn’d ,
To murder in the night;
With cruel arm and bloodstain’d hand
Which pierc’d the side of White.
Thou harden’d hearted monster devil,
To thrust the dirk of death,
You will be plac’d upon the level.
For time will stop your breath!
(three stanzas omitted)
Calmly he laid in sweet repose,
The ruffian forced the room,
And with his dirk he did dispose
Of him who’d done no harm.
Great God, how can these things be so,
When man is left alone?
Poor feeble wretch, he does not know
How wicked he has done.
(Last four stanza’s omitted)
These untitled verses, probably by the same author, come from a broadside on the suicide of Richard Crowninshield while in jail. It is also sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” and has also been shortened:
Silence doth dwell in the murd’rer’s cell
No sound of clanking chain,
Of fearful moan or stifled groan,
Shall echo there again.
Poor wretch, thy name shall be spar’d the shame
Of vile, disgraceful death,
Expos’d forlorn to the public scorn,
While fleets thy passing breath.
(five stanzas omitted)
See where he stands with clenched hands,
In restless agony.
Say, doth not hell in that bosom dwell?
Ah, whither can he flee?
Ah still midnight see the ghost of White
Streaming with blood appear.
Ill can murd’rer brook that dreadful look
His pulses stop through fear
(one stanza omitted)
Had Crowninshield in bloody field
Died, like a warrior brave,
Glory had been his portion then,
He had slept in a soldier’s grave.
By thy name forgot; who can tell thy lot
Where departed spirits roam.
Haply at last all thy penance past
Thy God will receive thee home!
2 hours ago