Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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AMERICAN SEA SONGS.                     15
the very crew of the Ranger, Paul Jones's ship, which escaped from a British squadron in the Irish Channel in 1778. It was first published by Com­modore Luce, in his collection of Naval Songs, with the statement that it was taken down from the reci­tation of a sailor. It is one of the gems of fore­castle song, has the full scent of the brine and the gale, and the ship does not manoeuvre as if she were a wagon on dry land, as was said of Allan Cunning­ham's account of Paul Jones's cruises. The title
given is
'T is of a gallant Yankee ship that flew the stripes and stars, And the whistling wind from the west-nor'-west blew through
the pitch-pine spars. With her starboard tacks aboard, my boys, she hung upon the
gale, On an autumn night we raised the light on the old head of
It was a clear and cloudless night, and the wind blew steady and strong,
As gayly over the sparkling deep our good ship bowled along ;
With the foaming seas beneath her bow the fiery waves she spread,
And bending low her bosom of snow, she buried her lee cat­head.
There was no talk of short'ning sail by him who walked the poop,
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