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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Observer Lyr Add: Spanish Lady (Helena Cinto) (51* d) RE: spanish lady 03 Mar 19

One thing wrong about the "Elizabethan" timing for this song as presented on this thread - Where and when would Drake's sailors have had the time and leisure to get to know any Spanish Ladies?

The song as given could have come from the 18th century when for quite long periods the island of Menorca was a British possession and where they built a naval base for their Mediterranean Fleet. The Island was handed back to the Spanish under the terms of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802.

The song is a Royal Navy "forebitter" and one used to educate sailors serving in the Channel Fleet.

Spanish Ladies

Farewell and adieu, to ye fair Spanish Ladies,
Farewell and adieu, ye ladies of Spain;
For we've received orders to sail for ol' 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 rave across the salt sea.
Until we strike soundings in the channel of old
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty five leagues.

We hove our ship to, with the wind from sou'west, boys
We hove our ship to, deep soundings take;
In forty-five fathoms, with a fine sandy bottom,
We spread our main yards and up channel did make.

Now the first land we sighted it was called the Dodman,
Next Rame Head off Plymouth, off Portsmouth the Wight;
We sailed on by Beachy, by Fairlight and Dover,
And then we bore up for the South Foreland light.

The signal was made for the whole fleet to anchor,
And all for that night in the Downs for to lie;
Standby your bow stoppers let go your shank painters,
Haul up your clewgarnets, let sheets and tacks fly.

Now let every man drink up his full bumper,
And let every man eat up his full bowl;
Let's drink and be jolly and drown melancholy,
Drink a health to each true-hearted soul.

Alternative chorus:
We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors,
We'll rant and we'll roar all o'er the salt main.
For Hawke's to command in the channel of old England;
Farewell Spanish Ladies till we see you again.

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