Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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Blue. 'It had a considerable vogue during the Russian war,' writes Sir J. K. Laughton. ' I often heard it sung up the Baltic : but of course it is a music-hall song. It was always understood that the ' red, white, and blue' meant the three admirals' flags. Since then it has been taken to mean that these are the national colours—a mistake which has led to a thousand absurdities.'
Out of all the popular songs illustrating the naval side of the Russian war only one deserves reprinting in this volume. That is a song called The Russians worit come out, which reflects the general disappointment of the navy at the absence of any opportunities for fighting at sea (p. 336).
In order to illustrate the work of the navy during the period which intervened between the close of the French war and the beginning of the Russian war four other ballads have been inserted. One, entitled General Campbell, describes the part taken by the navy in the capture of Rangoon in 1824. A second, The Borneo Heroes, narrates an incident in the suppression of piracy in the Eastern seas, viz. the fight at Malluda Bay on August 19, 1845. The third, entitled The Slave Chase, illus­trates the suppression of the slave trade. From the style it is clearly an imitation of one of Macaulay's Lays ; however, it is a spirited thing, and was a great favourite with the late Captain Montagu Burrows, who served for some time in African waters. It was also a popular favourite, and was very often reprinted by Fortey, Such, and the later publishers of street ballads. Arctic ex­ploration is illustrated by a fourth, which celebrates the return of Ross in 1833 and the welcome he received at home (pp. 330-334). Another incident, in the search for the North-West Passage, namely the voyage of Sir John Franklin, and the long