Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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the Lyceum on April 27, 1811. In Bell and Daldy's Sea Songs and Ballads, 1863 (p. 263), the words are attributed to Samuel James Arnold. There is another Death of Nelson—a rough and ungrammatical popular ballad — which seems to deserve reprinting in spite of its defects, as a testi­mony to popular feeling in England (p. 302).
Sir Richard Strachan's victory on November 4, 1805 (Clowes, v. 171), is the next important event celebrated, and it is treated as completing Nelson's work (p. 304). Clowes describes it as 'a creditable pendant to Trafalgar' (The Royal Navy, v. 174). Cochrane's attempt to destroy the French fleet in the Basque Roads in April 1810 was also made the subject of a song. ' Cochrane undaunted ' has his due praise; Gambier is not mentioned either for good or evil. The rest of the incidents recorded are cutting out affairs or frigate fights. Yeo's exploits on the coast of Spain in 1805, and the capture of the Thetis by the Amethyst in November 1808, were both held worthy of recognition in verse (pp. 300, 305 ; cf. Clowes, v. 362, 427).
In June 1812 the field of the war was widened by President Madison's declaration of war against England. This provides us. with some ballads which give the point of view of England's op­ponents, and advantageously supplement the pro­ductions of our own soil. A ballad beginning ' Ye Parliament of England' states the case of the United States against Great Britain, and sum­marises the naval history of the war for American hearers (p. 308). ' It was still,' says an American, ' a favourite song in many parts of the country as late as 1859, and it is valuable as a reflection of the spirit in which the war of 1812-14 was regarded by those who fought in it' (G. C. Eggleston, American War Ballads, 1889, i. 131). The capture of the