Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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Hark! the boatswain hoarsely bawling,—
By topsail sheets and haulyards stand, Down top-gallants quick be hauling,
Down your staysails, — hand, boys, hand ! Now it freshens, set the braces,
Quick the topsail-sheets let go; Luff, boys, luff, don't make wry faces,
Up your topsails nimbly clew.
Now all you at home in safety,
Sheltered from the howling storm, Tasting joys by Heaven vouchsafed ye,
Of our state vain notions form. Round us roars the tempest louder,
Think what fear our mind enthralls! Harder yet it blows, still harder,
Now ajrain the boatswain calls.
The topsail-yards point to the wind, boys,
See all clear to reef each course — Let the foresheet go — don't mind, boys,
Though the weather should be worse. Fore and aft the sprit-sail yard get,
Reef the mizzen —see all clear— Hand up, each preventer-brace set —
Man the foreyards — cheer, lads, cheer!
Now the awful thunder's rolling,
Peal on peal contending clash ; On our heads fierce rain falls pouring,
In our eyes blue lightnings flash: One wide water all around us,
All above us one black sky; Different deaths at once surround us,
Hark! what means that dreadful cry ?
The foremast's gone! cries every tongue, out
O'er the lee, twelve feet 'bove deck ; A leak beneath the chest-tree's sprung out —
Call all hands to clear the wreck. Quick, the lanyards cut to pieces —
Come, my hearts, be stout and bold! Plumb the well—the leak increases —
Four feet water in the hold!
While o'er the ship wild waves are beating,
We for our wives and children mourn; Alas, from hence there's no retreating!
Alas, to them, there's no return! Still the danger grows upon us,
Wild confusion reigns below; Heaven have mercy here upon us,
For only that can save us now.
O'er the lee-beam is the land, boys —
Let the guns o'erboard be thrown — To the pump, come, every hand, boys,
See, our mizzenmast is gone. The leak we've found, it cannot pour fast,
We've lightened her a foot or more; Up and rig a jury foremast—              [shore.
She rights! — she rights! — boys, wear off
Now once more on joys we're thinking,
Since kind Heaven has spared our lives, Come, the can, boys, let's be drinking
To our sweethearts and our wives : Fill it up, about ship wheel it,
Close to the lips a brimmer join; — Where's the tempest now, who feels it?
None — our danger's drowned in wine.
The words of this song were written by E. S. Sharpe, an English song-writer, who was born in 1776, and died in 1822. The music was made by M. P. King, a favorite English composer, who began writing music early in this century. He wrote operas, oratorios, etc., and composed the music for Arnold's "Up All Night," in which this song was em­bodied as ■ duet His sons were both noted as teachers of music, and performers on the organ and pianoforte. They came to this country when young, lived in New York City for many yean, and died there about twenty-five years ago. The eldest was Charles King, who arranged numerous songs, glees, etc. The younger brother, W. A. King, was for many years organist and conductor of music in Grace Church, and was deemed the finest organist in New York. He also conducted and arranged at the fashionable concerts of thirty years ago; was distinguished as an accompanist, and as a solo performer on the pianoforte. His "Grace Church Collection of Sacred Music" was called the most merito­rious publication of the kind that was ever issued in this country

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III