Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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Camperdown have survived. One by J. Pratt will be found on p. 283. Another by J. More, of the Royal Ayr Volunteers, to be sung to the tune of The Garb of Old Gaul, is printed in Ashton's Real Sailor Songs (p. 9). In one of the ballads Duncan's religion is commended :
' No power the pride of conquest has his heart to lead astray: He summoned his triumphant crew, and then was heard to
say, " Let every man now bend his knee, and here in solemn
prayer Give thanks to God, who in this fight has made our cause
His care."*
( The Fight off Camperdown.)
In the fourth a subscription for the widows of those who fell in the battle is advocated :
' Fighting their country's noble cause they near the Texel
fell, No mutiny, but gloriously they died behaving well.'
(The Widow's Lamentation)
On the battle of the Nile the two most popular ballads—to judge from the frequency of the reprints —were The Mouth of the Nile and Battle of the Nile. The former begins :
' It was in the forenoon of the first day of August, One thousand seven hundred and ninety eight.
After a long pursuit we o'ertook the Toulon fleet, And soon we let them know we came for to fight'
The whole is reprinted in Ashton's Real'Sailor Songs. The other poem, more pretentious in style concludes with a sort of apotheosis :
' In council above rose the deity of war, Determined to give valour due renown,
And soon on the brow of each hardy British tar Was placed a resplendent royal crown.