Music Of The Waters - online book

Sailors' Chanties, Songs Of The Sea, Boatmen's, Fishermen's,
Rowing Songs, & Water Legends with lyrics & sheet music

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70               Music of the Waters.
Listen to my Ditty ;" " The British Sailors' Lament," sung to the tune of " Hark to Winchester;" Dr. Boyce's famous " Hearts of Oak," with David Garrick's fine words. Many others have been set by seamen to this grand melody ; one is known as " The Keppel's Triumph," commencing—
" Bear a hand, jolly tars, for bold Keppel appears, In spite of each charge from Sir Hugh Palliser."
Another is " The Hardy Tars of Old England," or " The True Hearts of Oak":—
" Come, cheer up, my lads, let us haste to the Main, And rub out old scores with the dollars of Spain."
(Written at sea, by the late Earl of Dorset, in the first Dutch War.)
" To all you ladies now at land, We men at sea indite ; But first would have you understand
How hard it is to write ; The Muses now, and Neptune too, We must implore to write to you. With a fa la, la, la, la."
There are eleven stanzas to this song, and, if history speaks the truth, it was written the night before the naval engagement in which Opdam, the Dutch admiral, was blown up, with all his crew. The circumstance of such a lively, easy-flowing song having been written on board ship, on the eve of an engagement, was justly held to be a fine instance of courage and gallantry.

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