Old England long expected heavy news from the fleet -
It was commanded by Lord Nelson the French for to meet -
The news it came over, through the country was spread,
That the French were defeated but Lord Nelson was dead.
Rule, Britannia, Britannia rules the waves,
Britons never never never shall be slaves.
Not only Lord Nelson but thousands were slain,
A-fightin' the French on the watery main,
To protect our own country both honour and wealth,
But the French they would not yield until they yield unto death.
The merchants of Yarmouth when they heard so
Said "Come, brother sailor, to church let us go;
And there we will build a most beautiful pile
In remembrance of Nelson, the hero of the Nile".
"Your plans", said Britannia, "are excellent and good,
A monument for Lord Nelson and a sword for Collingwood.
Let it be of good marble and 'petuate his name;
Letters in bright gold wrote, 'He died for England's fame'."
Our soldiers and sailors as I have been told
Keep themselves in readiness their rights for to hold;
Their rights to maintain, the cause to expose,
If in an invasion to save British ports.
Our soldiers and sailors many brave deeds have done
While fighting in foreign many battles have won.
If the Nile could but speak or did Trafalgar declare,
All the world with Lord Nelson they would not compare.
Palmer, R, A Ballad History of England
,BT Batsford Ltd, 1979
This song was collected from Harry Cox by Peter Kennedy in 1953 and commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Several editions of "Nelson's Monument" are at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads. One is:
Nelson's monument ("Britons long expected great news from our fleet ...") Firth c.12(48)
Printer: Such, H. (London)
Date: between 1863 and 1885
Imprint: H.P. Such, Machine Printer and Publisher, 177, Union Street, Borough, S.E.
This has very similar lyrics and is given in full in the discussion thread.
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six