This popular, nearly endless, forecastle shanty features Captain William Kidd, though he frequently appeared as "Robert" in older versions. Indeed, the oldest broadsides, including The Dying Words of Capt. Robert Kidd: A noted Pirate, who was Hanged at Execution Dock, in England circa 1700, show the words did not change much over time.

It is sung to the same tune as "Samuel Hall", which was originally called "Jack Hall" after the English thief hanged in 1707. The tune of "William Kidd" would then seem to be the original.