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134 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
those hundreds of stentorian voices slinging out the rousing refrain as they left their native shore, some of them for the last time, can be better imagined than described.
Cheer, boys, cheer, no more of idle sorrow,
Courage ! true hearts shall bear us on our way :
Hope points before, and shows the bright to-morrow, Let us forget the darkness of to-day.
The song held the town for two years, when it was superseded in popularity, according to a contemporary writer, by, of all things, " Pop goes the weasel ! "
The words of both these songs, as well of "To the West," were by Mackay. Another lyric of his, "The Ship on Fire," was also set by Henry Russell. This is a song of the truly "descriptive' type, similar in style to another song of Russell's, "Man the Lifeboat." "The Ship on Fire " once proved a little too realistic for some of its audience. The occasion was in a drawing-room where Russell was entertaining the guests by singing some of his own songs. All went well until he unfortunately started "The Ship on Fire." Amongst the audience were three ladies, the Misses Power, whose father had a little while before been lost on a ship, the President, which disappeared on its return journey from America and was never heard of again. As Russell proceeded with his song the