The Ballad of Henry Clemm

(Lyrics and Music: A. Stainer)


Henry Clemm, Henry Clemm, went to sea / Wasn’t seen from again


Did he run to the docks with dreams to be a sailor? / On a magnificent whaler named the Molly McGill? / Did he hope for adventure in a faraway place? / With the rush of the waves as the sun hits his face


Did he go on a steamer to Burma for rubies? / Or trinkets of silver and fresh oolong tea? / Did he explore the jungle with Dr. David or Sir Henry? / Only to die from Dysentery?


Did he meet up with Darwin on the beach at St. Jago? / And carry his samples of unknown shrubbery? / And continue all the way to Tierra del Fuego? / And help sketch the plants and the animals seen?


Did he search for Atlantis off the coast of Bermuda? / Or the Fountain of Youth like Ponce De Leon? / Was he waylaid by pygmies or hijacked by scoundrels? / Was he shanghai’d as crewman for Captain Nemo?


He left Baltimore on his quest for adventure / This is much more romantic than the truth, I am told / Because lying in a ditch, or getting killed by a drunkard / That’s no way to die at 17 years old


Henry Clemm, Henry Clemm had a shot at a bar down on Thames / Went to Sea wasn’t seen from again / Nevermore, nevermore, seen from again