The ships have all been laid to waste beneath the New World sun,
And Christopher of Italy carries no more the chain,
It’s him and his fine brave men who will go down again.
Oh Christopher of Italy, five times he crossed the sea,
Four times he made a valiant trip, but now no more does he.
And Christopher of Italy filled hold with spice and slave,
But Christopher of Italy, no man now can ye save.
For Christopher upon the shore was caught all unaware
And the mighty spells Cahoka bore took him far from there.
His men shot off their Spanish guns, his ships set sail on tide,
But as many shot as Spaniards fired, so many Spaniards died.
For Christopher, he did not know the realm was not his own,
Christopher had thought the world was Europe’s all alone.
But oh lord and maiden fair, harken now to me,
For Christopher has come at last to the high palace lee.
The chains he used were strapped on him, and bound about his arms,
Manacles were shackled tight and wrought with iron charms.
The King looked down from earthen hill, and at him he did laugh,
He bid the merchant caper still, or he’d be cut in half!
Oh lord, and oh ye maiden fair, the dance is now begun!
Christopher will caper there until his days are done!
He dances day and dances night, with spells upon his feet,
He cannot pray, he cannot fight, he cannot yet retreat.
Remember ye Sir Christopher, who to his god was true,
Remember ye Sir Christopher, or else he could be you.
—Traditional Colonial Folksong