Author Topic: Add: Spanish Ladies


Posted - 02 Nov 02 - 04:48 pm

Spanish Ladies

Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain;
For we have recieved orders to sail to old England,
But we hope in a short time to see you again

We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors,
We'll rant and we'll roar across the salt seas;
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of old England
From Ushant to Scilly 'tis thirty-five leagues.

Then we hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'-west. my boys,
The we hove our ship to, for to strike soundings clear;
Then we filled up the main topsail and bore right away, my boys,
And straight up the Channel of old England did steer.

So the first land we made it is called the Deadman,
Next Ram Head off Plymouth, Start, Portland and the Wight;
We sail-ed by Beachy, by Fairly and Dungeness,
And then bore away for the South Foreland light.

Now the signal it was made for the grand fleet to anchor,
All on the Downs that night for to meet;
Then stand by your stoppers, see clear your shank-painters,
Haul all your clew gernets, stick out tacks and sheets.

Now let every man take off his full bumper,
Let every man take off his full bowl;
For we will be jolly and drown melancholy,
With a health to each jovial and true-hearted soul.

Source: Oxford Book of Sea Songs, ISBN 0-19-282155-5


The references in the book are quoted here: they are brief to the point of opacity, in my view!

Spanish Ladies. Text: Marryat, Poor Jack, ch XVII. Tune: Chappell, p 737. Capstan shanty: Hugill, p 385. Whalermen: as 'Talcahuano Girls' on the record Leviathan (Topic 12T174, 1967). Nellie's logbook: as in no 55. Pesquod: Moby DIck, 1851, ch 40. White Jacket: ch 74. Stone, p 209. Clements p 79.

Hopefully, someone more familiar with the material can expand on what this means!

Database entry is here

Edited By dmcg - 11/2/2002 4:48:58 PM


Posted - 02 Nov 02 - 04:56 pm

Dave, I think your final note is wrong

I do love this song, and used to play it in a folk band that sadly no longer exists. I got our version from a Walter Pardon recording, and I remember after first hearing it, rewinding the tape to listen again, then rewinding the tape to listen again, then rewinding the tape to listen again (you get the idea....)



Posted - 02 Nov 02 - 04:59 pm

Note fixed. Thanks Ed.

Mary in Kentucky

Posted - 08 Nov 02 - 01:23 am

I was curious about the notes, so I checked the Online Books page here. It appears that in chapter 40 of Moby Dick, the sailors are singing this song.

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 08 Nov 02 - 03:16 am

Roud 687.

At present, chapter XVII of Captain Marryat's Poor Jack can be seen at Poor Jack. The text of Spanish Ladies used by Palmer is quoted. The tune is from William Chappell's Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time (1855-9), where it was printed with a very similar text.

See also Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England (Henry Dixon, revised by Robert Bell)

Guest Account
Posted - 26 Dec 03 - 07:57 pm

From: regnis

In his book, "Sealife in Nelson's Time", John Masefield tells us that this was the best known song in the fleet in Nelson's day. Writing in 1905 he says that "It is still sung at sea, especially aboard American merchant vessels. The Americans sing it with various alterations." He has copied the words into his book but there are only minor word variations to yours. I just thought this might be of interest. Jan Steer, Pembrokeshire.


Posted - 26 Dec 03 - 11:38 pm

Thank you Jan. Such details are certainly welcome.


Posted - 27 Dec 03 - 12:47 am

I may have said this afore - but plot yer departures mentioned in the song, and wot do yer get ? - A Mnemic for your channel run ie a "Rutter"


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