Molasses Rum

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

This song was taught to me by Jonathan Cannon, who learned it at Brown University where he helped maintain this site: