Mudcat Café message #736567 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48864   Message #736567
Posted By: radriano
25-Jun-02 - 12:01 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SEAMEN'S DISTRESS
My apologies, Anglo. My source was indeed the "Oxford Book of Sea Songs" but the title of the song in question is "The Seamen's Distress." Another senior moment for radriano (sigh). Here's the text:

THE SEAMEN'S DISTRESS
The Oxford Book of Sea Songs, Roy Palmer, ed.

As we lay musing in our beds
So well and so warm at ease
I thought upon those lodging beds
Poor seamen have at sea

Last Easter Day in the morning fair
We was not far from land
Where we spied a mermaid on a rock
With comb and glass in hand

The first came up the mate of our ship
With lead and line in hand
To sound and see how deep we was
From any rock or sand

The next came up the boatswain of our ship
With courage stout and bold
Stand fast, stand fast, my brave, lively lads
Stand fast, my brave hearts of gold

Our gallant ship has gone to wreck
Which was so lately trimmed
The raging seas have sprung a lead
And the salt water does run in

Our gold and silver, and all our clothes
And all that ever we had
We forced was to heave them overboard
Thinking our lives to save

In all the number that was on board
Was five hundred and sixty-four
And all that ever came alive on shore
There was but poor ninety-five


The first bespoke the captain of our ship
And a well-spoke man was he
I have a wife in fair Plymouth town
And a widow I fear she must be

The next bespoke the mate of our ship
And a well-bespoke man was he
I have a wife in fair Portsmouth town
And a widow I fear she must be

The next bespoke the boatswain of our ship
And a well-bespoke man was he
I have a wife in fair Exeter
And a widow I fear she must be

The next bespoke the little cabin boy
And a well-bespoke boy was he
I am as sorry for my mother dear
As you are for you wives all three

Last night when the moon shined bright
My mother had five sons
But now she may look in the salt sea
And find but one alive

Call a boat, call a boat, you little Plymouth boys
Don't you hear how the trumpet sound
For the want of a boat our gallant ship is lost
And the most of our merry men drowned

Whilst the raging seas do roar
And the lofty winds do blow
And we poor seamen do lie on the top
Whilst the landsmen lies below

Cheers,
Richard