Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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Brave Benbow he set sail
For to fight, for to fight,
Brave Benbow he set sail for to fight :
Brave Benbow he set sail,
With a fine and pleasant gale,
But his Captains they turn'd tail
In a fright, in a fright.
Says Kirby unto Wade,
'' I will run, I will run,"
Says Kirby unto Wade, " I will run :
I value not disgrace,
Nor the losing of my place,
My enemies I'll not face
With a gun, with a gun."
'Twas the Ruby and Noah's Ark Fought the French, fought the French, 'Twas the Ruby and Noah's Ark fought the And there was ten in all,                 [French :
Poor souls they fought them all, They valued them not at all, Kor their noise, nor their noise.
It was our Admiral's lot
With a chain shot, with a chain shot,
It was our Admiral's lot, with a chain shot
Our Admiral lost his legs,
And to his men he begs,
" Fight on, my boys," he says,
" 'Tis my lot, 'tis my lot."
While the surgeon dress'd his wounds,
Thus he said, thus he said,                        [said:
While the surgeon dress'd his wounds, thus he
" Let my cradle now in haste
On the quarter-deck be plac'd,
That my enemies I may face
Till I'm dead, till I'm dead."
And there bold Benbow lay
Crying out, crying out,
And there bold Benbow lay, crying out:
" Let us tack about once more,
We'll drive them to their own shore,
I value not half a score,
Nor their noise, nor their noise."
This is to be found on many broadsides with music, printed between the years 1740 and 1750. The words are included in The Wreath, second edition, 1753 (and perhaps in the first edition, which I have not seen) ; also in The Bullfinch, The Convivial Songster, and many similar collections. It is still one of the most popular of English bacchanalian songs.
" The English," says Camden, " who of all the Northern nations, had been till now the moderatest drinkers, and-most commended for their sobriety, learned in these Netherland wars, first to drown themselves with immoderate drinking, and by drinking others' healths to impair their own. And, ever since, the vice of drunkenness hath so diffused itself over the whole nation, that in our days first it was fain to be restrained by severe laws." {Reign of Elizabeth, p. 263.)
" Though I am not old in comparison of other ancient men," says Sir Richard Hawkins, " I can remember Spanish wine rarely to be found in this kingdom. Then, hot, burning fevers were not known in England, and men lived many more years. But since Spanish sacks have been common in our taverns, which (for conservation*) is mingled with lime in its making, our nation complaineth of calenturas, of the stone, the dropsy, and infinite other diseases not heard of before this wine came in frequent use, or but very seldom. To confirm which my belief, I have heard one of our learnedest physicians affirm that he thought
» This passage explains FalstafFs exclamation, " You rogue, here's lime in this sack," which has led many to suppose sack to have been what is termed a "dry" wine. That it was not so is proved by an act of parliament in the reign of Henry VIII., which I have not seen quoted anywhere. It is entitled "An acte to set prices upon win is to he sold by relaile," and enacts that " No maner of persons should sel by retayle any Gascoyne, Guion, or Frenche wines above eyght pens the gallon; that is to sayt, a peny the piute. two pence the quarte, four pence
the pottle, and eight pence the gallon: And that Malme-sies, Romneis, Sackes, nor other swete urines, shoulde be solde by retayle above twelve pence the gallon, sixpence the pottle, three pence the quarte, thre halfepence the pinte." (Anno 34, 35, cap. vii., 15434.) The progressive increase in the prices of wine may he noted by the various proclamations, one of which, in 1632, fixes the price of "Sacks and Malagas" at 13 per butt, or ninepence the quart j and another, in 1676, at tenpence per pint.

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