Old Molasses Rum

A great modern song in a traditional style written by the late Tom Rowe of the band Schooner Fare.  The Great Molasses Disaster of 15 January 1919 in Boston is indeed a historical fact, although only 21 are said to have died rather than the 26 mentioned in the song… traditional music license.

Jos. Morneault


Oh, the African man cuts the sugar cane
Oh, molasses!
He works in the sun and he works in the rain
Oh, molasses rum!
Then he loads it up on a wooden ship and he sends it off on a northern trip

Singing, oh molasses, oh molasses rum
Oh, molasses Old New England tea
It killed my grandpa, killed my pa
And it sure as Hell is killing me
Singing, oh molasses, oh molasses rum

When they fought the war for the colonies…
They fought it over New England tea…
When Old King George put a tax on it the colonies nearly took a fit…

In the time of the 1917 war
Molasses sitting on the Boston shore
When they pumped it in it was twelve degrees, a long cold night in a Boston freeze

In the morning it was 42
Molasses vat split clean in two
Two million gallons covered the bay, 26 people drowned in the flood that day

My grandpa he died cutting cane
My pa went down in the great brown rain
But I won’t go in a pool of blood, no I won’t drown in a black-strap flood
Still, I’ll go down to molasses, oh molasses rum

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