Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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a cutlass, brace of pistols, and boarding axe. Hannah Snell's narrative of her life, entitled, The Female Soldier, or the Surprising Adventures of Hannah Snell, was published in 1750, and reprinted in Women Adventurers, 1892. Her life is con­tained in the Dictionary of National Biography, liii. 205.
P. 201. The Lighterman's Prentice. From the Madden collection (Slipsongs, ii. 137, No. 993). In line 32 'Portsmouth' is a correction of ' Plymouth.'
P. 203. Great Britain's Resolution to Fight the French. From the Madden collection (Slipsongs, i. 87, No. 199). 'Plods' in verse 8 means 'plaids,' and 'Charley,' Prince Charles Edward.
P. 204. The Terrible Privateer. From a slipsong in the possession of the editor. ' Valance,' in verse 3, is a popular rendering of ' Vengeance.' ' Carted,' in verse 8, means the ship employed to exchange prisoners. ' All into a hell' is the last line in the original.
P. 205. Captain Death. From a slipsong in the possession of the editor, with some corrections from Halliwell's Early Naval Ballads, p. 120. Another version is in Logan's Pedlar's Pack, p. 31.^ For the facts see A Faithful Narrative of the Cruel Sufferings of Captain Death and his Crew. By Samuel Stoaks. For the tune see F. Kidson's Traditional Tunes, Oxford, 1891, p. 105.
P. 206. A New Song. From the Madden collection (Slipsongs, ii. 270, No. 1227). The following extracts will explain the reference. ' Captain Edgcumbe, with his little squadron, had been obliged to return from off Minorca on the appearance of the French. He had left behind him Captain Carr Scrope of the Dolphin, who commanded the naval detach­ment on shore, to act as signal officer in the event of the appearance of a British squadron before the island.' When Byng appeared he sent the Phoenix, Chesterfield, and Dolphin ' to reconnoitre the mouth of Mahon harbour, to pick up intelli­gence, and to endeavour to send ashore a letter to General Blakeney . . . the enemy's fleet appeared in the S.E., and the detachment had to be recalled' (Clowes, iii. 147-8). In the absence of Scrope, the Dolphin was commanded by Benjamin Marlow. Scrope, who was on shore all the time, could not have distinguished himself in the way the ballad makes him do, though he did good service during the siege (see Entick, History of the Late War, ii. 282, 301). The ballad is a specimen of the fictions circulated to increase the popular hatred of Byng.
P. 207. The Letter of a Certain Admiral, printed in
Bungiana (a collection of poems and letters against Byng, published in 1756), p. 17. It appeared in The Evening