Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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Thus England, and our new King too, Their safety to their valour owe; Nay, some did 'gainst their conscience fight To do some great ones too much right;
And now, oh, barbarous tyranny !
Like men they fought, like dogs they dye.
Thousands of them their lives did lose In fighting stoutly with their foes, And thousands were so maim'd in fight That 'twas a sad and piteous sight; And when they hop'd their pay to gain They have their labour for their pain.
Their starving families at home Expected their slow pay would come; But our proud Court meant no such thing, Not one groat must they have till spring; To starve all summer would not do, They must still starve all winter too.
It might a little ease their grief, And give their mis'ry some relief, Might they in trade ships outward go, But that poor boon's denied them too, Which is as much as plain to say, You shall earn nothing, nor have pay.
Their poor wives with care languished, Their children cried for want of bread, Their debts encreast, and none would more Lend them, or let them run o'th' score. In such a case what could they doe But ask those who money did owe ?
Therefore some, bolder than the rest, The officers for their own request; They calPd 'em rogues, and said nothing Was due to them untill the spring:
The King had none for them, they said Their betters, they must first be paid.
The honest seamen then replied They could no longer want abide, And that nine hundred thousand pound Was giv'n last year to pay them round :