Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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Prince Hoare, who wrote the words of "The Arethusa," was born in Bath, England, in 1755. His father was a painter, and the son studied the art with him, and became some­what noted as a painter of portraits and historical pictures. He went to Rome to continue painting, but finally relinquished that pursuit, and adopted literature as a profession. In eleven years, he wrote twenty plays; some of them successful comic operas, and musical farces. One of these is " No Song, no Supper," another is " Lock and Key." He died at Brighton, December 22, 1834.
The "Arethusa" was a frigate of 850 tons, carrying thirty-two guns. She was built by the French, from whom she was captured, by two British frigates, in Audierne Bay, May 18, 1759. In 1778, she was commissioned for active service in the British navy, and sailed in the fleet of Admiral Keppel. In June, she fought a drawn battle with the French frig­ate, " Belle Poule," in which she lost eight men killed, and thirty-six wounded, and was so badly knocked to pieces that she had to be towed back to the fleet. Her antagonist lost forty-eight killed, and fifty wounded. In March, 1779, the "Arethusa," trying to escape a pursuing French line-of-battle-ship, struck in the night on a reef near Molines, in the British channel, and went to pieces. All on board except one boat's crew were made prisoners.
The music of " The Arethusa" is attributed to William Shield ; but Samuel Lover says it was composed by Carolan, an Irish minstrel, and "has been shabbily purloined by Shield." Some collections of English music speak of it as arranged by Shield, from an ancient melody.