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All on Spurn Point a vessel lay,
All on Spurn Point, ay! all the day,
We launched the lifeboat true and brave,
Expecting ev'ry soul to save.
I want no help." the captain cried,
"She will come off with flowing tide."

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Source: Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs, Leadenhall Press, London

Lucy Broadwood wrote:

This fragment was taken down by Mr. [H. M.] Bower from a Whitby fisherman, in December 1891.  The singer has tried to get hold of more words, but without success.  It was an old saying in Whitby that at last the ship broke up.  The captain was picked up at night; he lived to say that but for his refusal of help, all hands might have been saved, and then died.  A comparison of this tune with "Sweet William" will give a remarkable illustration of the curious transformations which airs undergo in transmission.


Roud: 599 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

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