Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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supplies few ballads of any merit, and the more important the event celebrated the worse, as a rule, is the ballad. Trafalgar produced at least a dozen, of which two are selected here—Nelson s Glorious Victory at Trafalgar, and another, entitled The Death of Nelson, which begins :
' Come all you gallant seamen that unites a meeting.'
(pp. 301, 302). A third, beginning Arise, ye sons of Britain, in chorus join and sing, which usually bears the title of Nelsons Death and Victory, is reprinted by Mr. Masefield (p. 131), and by Mr. Ashton (p. 18), under the title of The Battle of Trafalgar. Mr. Ashton also prints a fourth entitled Nelson and Collingwood (p. 19). There is yet another Battle of Trafalgar, which begins well:
' Come all you British heroes, come listen to my song,
It is of a noble battle by our brave seamen won ;
The 20th of October that was the very day
The combined fleet from Cadiz, my boys, did put to sea ;
The Euryalus made the signal, the Defence she did repeat,
The Mars and the Colossus conveyed it to our fleet.
It was off Cape St. Mary, nine leagues from the shore, When the signal they saw down from Cadiz they bore. On Sunday the twentieth so early in the morn We espied our enemy, my boys, four leagues astern ; The day it being foggy we lost them all again, But on the twenty-first, my boys, we met them on the main.'
The rest of the narrative, however, is a mere catalogue of the names of ships.
The Death of Nelson, better known as ' Twas in Trafalgar's Bay, is from John Braham's opera entitled The Americans, which was produced at