Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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INTRODUCTION                  \xv
' Up came the Boatswain, with Countenance stern, With a great Pair of Whiskers, and Mouth like a Churn, He lug'd out his Whistle, and up came the Sailers, And all Hands aloft as nimble as Taylors : There was Toe-le-ho, and, Boys, heave away, Whilst another was tearing his Throat with, Belay; Then Haul Cat, Haul: A damnable Yawling ; The Boatswain a Swearing, the Master a Bawling, Helm-a-lee, ye Landlubbard Loobies ; Let go the Fore-Bowlings, ye Fresh- Water Boobies ; Haul Aft the Main-Sheet, ye Lump of a Dog, Whilst another was Singing a Tune to the Log. Such Language was us'd by the Tarpauling Rabble, Sure never was such a Confusion at Bable : The Master cry'd out, Thus, thus, Stedy, Stedy: A Pox take his Thus, it made my Head Giddy.'
(Rands, Pax in Crumena ; or, the Trooper turrid Poet, 1714, pp. 6-7, The Poet's Voyage to Amsterdam!)
The reign of Queen Anne was marked by great disasters from fire and storm. In the great storm of November 26, 1703, twelve vessels belong­ing to the navy were totally lost, according to the list given by Clowes (ii. 389). A ballad on the event entitled The Stormy Judgments or the Tem­pestuous Wind is printed in the Bagford Ballads (i. 83), but it gives no details. Another entitled The dreadful Tempest or a Divine Poem on the Amazing Hurricane whick appeared with Wonderful Violence both by Sea and Land on the 2jth of November 1703 describes the loss of four men-of-war:
' The Mary on the Goodwin-Sands was blown, And all her Sailors perished but one, Who on a piece of wreck was wash'd aboard The Sterling-Castle, and to life restor'd.
' Thus while a Sinking in the Sand she lay, Admiral Beaumont to his men did say, You that can Swim may try your lives to save, For no reliefe we now can hope to have.