Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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The old sea song, Come, and listen to my ditty, or The Sailor''s Com­plaint, is to be found in The Universal Musician, and in vol. iv. of T/ie British Musical Miscellany, published by Walsh. The air is now commonly known as " Cease, rude Boreas," from a song which, according to Ritson and others, was written by George Alexander Stevens. It is an amplification of a " Marine Medley" in Stevens's Songs, Comic and Satyrical, Oxford, 1772.
In the ballad-opera of Silvia, or the Country Burial, printed in 1731, the song, " On some rock, by seas surrounded," is adapted to the tune, and the old name is there given as Mow happy are young lovers ; so, also, in Robin Hood, 1730.
The title, How happy are young lovers, is derived from the ballad of The Distracted Sailor; a copy of which is in the Douce Collection, and a second in that of Mr. J. M. Gutch. In the latter copy it is said to be to the tune of What is greater joy or pleasure, which carries the air a stage further back.
The Distracted Sailor is a long ballad of ten stanzas. The following are the first two:—
" 0 how happy are young lovers,
When they courtship first begin; How their faces do discover
The great pleasure they are in ! When one seems to like the other,
Hand in hand these lovers move, And with kisses they do smother,
While they prattle tales of love.
Just so Billy, the sailor, courted
Molly, and she was mostly kind ; For they oft had kiss'd and sported,
Each persuaded was in mind. She consented for to have him,
He made vows to her again; He would wed, if she'd not leave him,
When he did return from Spain," &c.
Many other sea-songs were sung to this air. Among them, Glover's ballad of Hosier's Crhost (commencing, " As near Portobello lying"), and Admiral Vtrnon's Answer to Admiral Hosier's Q-host,—" Hosier! with indignant sorrow." These are reprinted in Halliwell's Early Naval Ballads of England.
The following is The Sailor's Complaint :■-
"'■' Oome, and listen to my ditty,
All ye jolly hearts of gold ; . Lend a brother Tar your pity,
Who was once so stout and bold. But the arrows of Cupid,
Alas I have made me rue ; Sure, true love was ne'er so treated,
As am I by scornful Sue.
When I landed first at Dover,
She appear'd a goddess bright; from foreign parts I was just come over,
And was struck with so fair a sight. On shore pretty Sukey walked,
Near to where our frigate lay, And altho' so near the landing,
I, alas ! was cast away.
When first I hail'd my pretty creature,
The delight of land and sea, No man ever saw a sweeter,
I'd have kept her company; I'd have fain made her my true love,
For better, or for worse; But alas I I cou'd not compass her,
For to steer the marriage course.
Once, no greater joy and pleasure
Could have come into my mind, Than to see the bold Defiance
Sailing right before the wind, O'er the white waves as she danced,
And her colours gaily flew: But that was not half so charming
As the trim of lovely Sue.

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