> Danny Spooner > Songs > The Newgate Stone

The Newgate Stone

[ Roud V1924 ; Bodleian Roud V1924 ; Mudcat 161683 ; trad.]

Danny Spooner, accompanied by Mick Farrell, sang The Newgate Stone in 1978 on their album Limbo. He noted:

During one of his many visits to the Melbourne State Library in the mid-1960s, George Black (a great singer and guitarist) found these words in an old book about London. George quickly wrote the chorus and tune, and it has been a favourite of mine ever since. The stone referred to was in the condemned cell of the old Newgate Gaol. ‘Dubsman’ was an 18th century word for a turnkey or jailer.

This video shows Danny Spooner singing The Newgate Stone at Fleurieu Folk Festival 2016:


Danny Spooner sings The Newgate Stone

Chorus (after each verse):
With your chisel so fine, tra la, tra la,
With your chisel so fine, tra la

When Claude Duval were in Newgate thrown,
He carved his name on the dungeon stone;
Quoth a dubsman who gazed at the shattered wall,
“You have carved your epitath, Claude Duval.”

Duval were hanged, and the next who came
On the self-same stone inscribed his name;
Then quoth the dubsman with devilish glee,
“Tom Waters, your doom is the triple tree.”

All in the dungeon lay Captain Bew,
Rumbold and Whitney, a jovial crew,
Each carved their name on the stone, and all
Suffered the fate of the bold Duval.

Over twenty highwaymen blithe and bold
Rattled their chains in that dungeon old;
Of all the number there escaped not one
Who carved his name on the Newgate stone.