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194 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
Once when Maybrick was singing the song at a concert, just as he came to the words i with a long, long pull, and a strong, strong pull,' he stretched out his hand to turn over the music on the piano, and his cuff-link caught in the accompanist's hair. It was a wig, and it began to come off! Suddenly realising the situation, the accompanist clapped both his hands to his head just in time, and Maybrick was left to go on unaccompanied.
The words, as in the case of the great majority of Stephen Adams's songs, were written by Weatherly. "I love to think," he says, "that the words of ' The Midshipmite ' were really composed towards the close of the Crimean War, when, as my mother and I sat under the old disused battery at Portishead, she showed me, lying in King Road, the great ship that had brought home Lord Raglan's body, though I am bound to confess that the song was not committed to paper till many years later."
Of Adams's other sea-songs may be mentioned "The Tar's Farewell" and "They All Love Jack," the latter of which was on everyone's lips some ten years ago. "The Owl" was an immensely popular song of a humorous type, while of still different types were "The Blue Alsatian Mountains," "A Warrior Bold," "Nirvana," and some of his more recent songs, such