Three Sea Songs

Song Cycle by Granville Ransome Bantock, Sir (1868 - 1946)

1. Admirals all [sung text not yet checked]

Effingham, Grenville, Raleigh, Drake,
  Here's to the bold and free!
Benbow, Collingwood, Byron, Blake,
  Hail to the Kings of the Sea!
Admirals all, for England's sake,
  Honour be yours and fame!
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
  To Nelson's peerless name!

    Admirals all, for England's sake,
      Honour be yours and fame!
    And honour, as long as waves shall break,
      To Nelson's peerless name!

Essex was fretting in Cadiz Bay
  With the galleons fair in sight;
Howard at last must give him his way,
  And the word was passed to fight.
Never was schoolboy gayer than he,
  Since holidays [first]1 began:
He tossed his bonnet to wind and sea,
  And under the guns he ran.

Drake nor devil nor Spaniard feared,
  [Their cities he put to the sack;]2
He singed his Catholic Majesty's beard,
  And [harried his ships to]3 wrack.
[He was playing at Plymouth a rubber of bowls
  When the great Armada came;
But he said, "They must wait their turn, good souls,"
  And he stooped and finished the game.]1

Fifteen sail were the Dutchmen bold,
  Duncan he had but two;
But he anchored them fast where the Texel shoaled,
  And his colours aloft he flew.
"I've taken the depth to a fathom," he cried,
  "And I'll sink with a right good will:
For I know when we're all of us under the tide
  My flag will be fluttering still."

Splinters were flying above, below,
  When Nelson sailed the Sound:
"Mark you, I wouldn't be elsewhere now,"
  Said he, "for a thousand pound!"
The Admiral's signal bade him fly
  But he wickedly wagged his head:
He clapped the glass to his sightless eye,
  And "I'm damned if I see it!" he said.

Admirals all, they said their say
  (The echoes are ringing still).
Admirals all, they went their way
  To the haven under the hill.
But they left us a kingdom none can take,
  The realm of the circling sea,
To be ruled by the rightful sons of Blake,
  And the Rodneys yet to be.

    Admirals all, for England's sake,
      Honour be yours and fame!
    And honour, as long as waves shall break,
      To Nelson's peerless name!

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1 omitted by Headlam-Morley
2 Headlam-Morley: "He put their towns to the sack"
3 Headlam-Morley: "harrowed their ships to the"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Drake's drum [sung text not yet checked]

[Drake he's in his hammock and a thousand miles away,
(Captain, art thou sleeping there below?)
Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay,
And dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.
Yonder looms the Island, yonder lie the ships,
With sailor-lads a-dancing heel-an'-toe,
And the shore-lights flashing, and the night-tide dashing,
He sees it all so plainly as he saw it long ago.]1
Drake he was a Devon man, an' ruled the Devon seas,
(Captain, art thou sleeping there below?)
Roving tho' his death fell, he went with heart at ease,
And dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.
"Take my drum to England, hang it by the shore,
Strike it when your powder's running low;
If the Dons sight Devon, I'll quit the port o' Heaven,
And drum them up the Channel as we drummed them long ago."
Drake he's in his hammock till the great Armadas come,
(Captain, art thou sleeping there below?)
Slung atween the round shot, listening for the drum,
And dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.
Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound,
Call him when you sail to meet the foe;
Where the old trade's plying and the old flag flying
They shall find him ware and waking, as they found him long ago!

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1 omitted by Hedgcock

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. The Fighting Téméraire [sung text not yet checked]

It was eight bells ringing,
For the morning watch was done,
And the gunner's lads were singing
As they polished every gun.

It was eight bells ringing,
And the gunner's lads were singing,
For the ship she rode a-swinging
As they polished every gun.

Oh! to see the linstock lighting,
Téméraire! Téméraire!
Oh! to hear the round shot biting,
Téméraire! Téméraire!

Oh! to see the linstock lighting,
And to hear the round shot biting,
For we're all in love with fighting
On the Fighting Téméraire.1

It was noontide ringing,
And the battle just begun,
When the ship her way was winging
As they loaded every gun.

It was noontide ringing,
When the ship her way was winging,
And the gunner's lads were singing
As they loaded every gun.

There'll be many grim and gory,
Téméraire! Téméraire!
There'll be few to tell the story,
Téméraire! Téméraire!

There'll be many grim and gory,
There'll be few to tell the story,
But we'll all be one in glory
With the fighting Téméraire.

There's a far bell ringing
At the setting of the sun,
And a phantom voice is singing
Of the great days done.

There's a far bell ringing,
And a phantom voice is singing
Of renown for ever clinging
To the great days done.

Now the sunset breezes shiver,
Téméraire! Téméraire!
And she's fading down the river,
Téméraire! Téméraire!

Now the sunset breezes shiver,
And she's fading down the river,
But in England's song for ever
She's the Fighting Téméraire.

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1Author's note: The last two stanzas have been misunderstood. It seems, therefore, necessary to state that they are intended to refer to Turner's picture in the National Gallery of "The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her Last Berth."

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Total word count: 824