Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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lxx           SONGS AND BALLADS
minute for you, you lazy dog." Then laying hold of me by the arm, hauled me along, until his good nature (of which he had a good share) and reflection, getting the better of his passion, he said, " Come, my boy, don't be cast down,—the old rascal is in hell,—that's some satisfac­tion ;—you shall go to sea with me, my lad.—A light heart and a thin pair of breeches, goes thro' the world, brave boys; as the song goes—eh !" Though this proposal did not at all suit my inclination, I was afraid of discovering-my aversion to it, lest I should disoblige the only friend I had in the world; and he was so much a seaman, that he never dreamt I could have any objection to his design ; consequently, gave himself no trouble in consulting my approbation' {Roderick Random, chap. v. p. 23, ed. 1748).
Another song, The Boatswains Whistle (p. 165), which, like the Bonny Sailor, was set by Greene, was the delight of Commodore Trunnion and his ex-boatswain when they made merry together in taverns.
' Come, Pipes, let's have The Boatswain's Whistle, and be jovial.' This musician accordingly applied to his mouth the silver instrument that hung at a buttonhole of his jacket, by a chain of the same metal, and though not quite so ravishing as the pipe of Hermes, produced a sound so loud and shrill, that the stranger (as it were instinctively) stopped his ears, to preserve his organs of hearing from such a dangerous invasion. The prelude being thus executed, Pipes fixed his eyes upon the egg of an ostrich that depended from the ceiling, and without once moving them from that object, performed the whole cantata in a tone of voice that seemed to be the joint issue of an Irish bagpipe and a sow-gelder's horn ; the commo­dore, the lieutenant, and landlord joined in the chorus, repeating this excellent stanza,
Bustle, bustle, brave boys !
Let us sing, let us toil,
And drink all the while,
Since labour's the price of our joys.