Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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in June 1761; Martinique was taken in February 1762, and Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent with Martinique.
' As soon as this news to the French King was brought He immediately put on his mourning coat, Saying " Where shall I go or where shall I run ? They've ruined my nation, alas, I'm undone."'
The New Song on the Taking of Martinico thus pictures its effect:
' And now for Jack Spaniards we'll show them a dance. And humble their pride as well as proud France.'
War had been declared against Spain on Jan­uary 4, 1762, and the squadron which had helped to reduce Martinique now joined an expedition sent from England under Sir George Pocock and the Earl of Albemarle, and laid siege to Havana. The city fell on August 13, 1762, and a ballad on its capture is printed on p. 223. It is remarkable for the badness of its metre and the correctness of its historical details (see Entick, v. 363-385; Clowes iii. 245). With this capture the war ended. The preliminaries of peace were signed on November 3, 1762, the definitive treaty on February 10, 1763.
Peace was welcome news to the sailors. A ballad called The Sailors' Dialogue, evidently written about this date, expresses their views. ' When all the ship is paid, we'll lead a merry life,' says Jack, and rejoices with Tom over the prospect of a full pocket and plenty of drink (p. 227). It gave them additional satisfaction to think that their officers would not be equally pleased. What Jack thought good news was bad news to admiral, cap­tain, and lieutenant, as the ballad called Dis­tressed Men of War sets forth at length (p. 228).