Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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678
ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
BENBOW, THE BROTHER TAR'S SONG.
This is taken from a broadside printed with the tnne in the first half of the last century; but the words are evidently much corrupted. For instance, the line, " With their noise," at the end of the fourth stanza, cannot be correct, as it-ought to rhyme with "French," and the same words are again substituted, at the end of the last stanza, for a line that should rhyme with " crying out."
The tune is both quaint and characteristic.
Mr. Halliwell prints the words in Early Naval Ballads of England, from a broadside published at Salisbury, by Fowler, a noted ballad-printer of the last century, but the same corruptions are in both copies.
Admiral Benbow was called " the brother tar " because he rose, from being a common sailor, to the rank of Admiral. His father was Colonel John Benbow, i Shropshire gentleman and loyal Cavalier, who distinguished himself at the battle of Worcester, and was there taken prisoner. At the Restoration he could obtain no better post than one of subordinate rank in the Tower of London at a salary of eighty pounds a year, and left his family penniless.
Portraits of Admiral Benbow may be seen at Hampton Court Palace and in the town-hall at Shrewsbury.
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