Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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attempt was made on August 15, 1801, and is the subject of A New Song composed by the wounded Tars (p. 297). It was evidently meant to appeal to the charitable, and the lines :
' All you that relieve us the Lord will you bless For relieving poor sailors in times of distress '
are a too familiar ballad formula. There are many other ballads of the period ending with similar appeals. Two examples will suffice :
' A splinter knocked my nose off, " My bowsprit's gone! "
I cries, " Yet well it kept their blows off, thank God 'twas not my
eyes." Scarce with these words I'd outed, glad for my eyes and
limbs, A splinter burst and douted both my two precious glims. I'm blind and I'm a cripple, yet cheerful would I sing Were my disasters triple, 'cause Why ? 'twas for my king.'
( The Blind Sailor.)
' A splinter from our ship was forced, Which took my arm, to my sad loss, And now I'm found to wander up and down, Seeking relief where it can be found. We all are seamen to our right, And on the seas we took delight, But by hard fortune you plainly see We lost our limbs on the raging sea. All you who extend your charity, The Lord preserve your family.'
{The Seaflower.)
The last action of importance before the peace of Amiens was that between Linois and Sir James Saumarez in the Straits of Gibraltar on July 12, 1801 (Clowes, iv. 466). The ballad on it is a parody of