Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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lvi             SONGS AND BALLADS
describes his life on board ship. The ambassador was affable, and gained the love of all the ship's company. He 'got into the favour of the officers and mariners by his kindness and familiarity, by being much on the decks and drolling with them and discoursing, especially by affording them now and then a douse in the neck or a kick in jest, seeing them play, and then giving them some of his own tobacco, wine, and strong waters, as there was occasion, which demeanours please those kind of people' {Journal, i. 135). As he amused them, so they in return amused him. On his return, when he was wind-bound off the mouth of the Elbe, ' the mariners, in their usual way of sporting, endeavoured to make him some pastime to divert the tediousness of his stay and of the' bad weather' {Journal, ii.
Of what nature the pastime was we can infer
from a few notices. Pepys mentions in the journal of his voyage to Tangiers, under August 27, 1683 ; ' Till midnight on the quarter deck, seeing the seamen dance to the harp and sing' {CorresponĀ­dence, i. 343). And again on September 3 : ' This evening much mirth among the seamen dancing, the sea running high' {ib. i. 346). There was music of some kind on board most men-of-war. In the Bristol, during Teonge's voyage to the Mediterranean in 1675, the only instruments mentioned are trumpets. When the ship left the Downs ' our trumpets sound " Maids, where are your hearts ?"' and again as a compliment to the English consul at Scanderoon the trumpets played the same tune. In describing the celebration of Christmas Day music is mentioned again. ' At four in the morning our trumpeters all doe flatt their trumpetts, and begin at our Captain's cabin, and thence to all the officers' and gentlemen's cabins;