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Lyr Add: Spanish Lady (Helena Cinto)

DigiTrad:
SPANISH LADIES


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Spanish Ladies (62)
Lyr/Chords Req: Spanish Ladies (15)
Lyr Req: We'll rant and we'll roar, till the cops (1)
Spanish Ladies (10)


GUEST,Guest Wellington NZ 02 Mar 19 - 08:51 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 19 - 09:18 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 19 - 09:53 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 19 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,Gerry 02 Mar 19 - 10:13 PM
Reinhard 03 Mar 19 - 01:58 AM
GUEST 03 Mar 19 - 06:47 AM
GeoffLawes 03 Mar 19 - 07:07 AM
GeoffLawes 03 Mar 19 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Mar 19 - 10:06 AM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 19 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 19 - 02:32 PM
DaveRo 03 Mar 19 - 02:47 PM
Bonzo3legs 03 Mar 19 - 03:44 PM
DaveRo 03 Mar 19 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Observer 03 Mar 19 - 05:40 PM
beachcomber 04 Mar 19 - 11:49 AM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 19 - 12:16 PM
Ged Fox 04 Mar 19 - 12:43 PM
Ged Fox 04 Mar 19 - 12:45 PM
Iains 04 Mar 19 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 05 Mar 19 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,Observer 05 Mar 19 - 02:37 AM
Jack Campin 05 Mar 19 - 03:08 AM
DaveRo 05 Mar 19 - 03:16 AM
DaveRo 05 Mar 19 - 03:23 AM
Jack Campin 05 Mar 19 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Observer 05 Mar 19 - 05:57 AM
DaveRo 05 Mar 19 - 07:13 AM
GUEST 05 Mar 19 - 08:24 AM
EBarnacle 05 Mar 19 - 11:08 AM
EBarnacle 05 Mar 19 - 12:04 PM
Ged Fox 06 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Observer 06 Mar 19 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,jag 06 Mar 19 - 08:36 AM
Mrrzy 06 Mar 19 - 09:10 AM
keberoxu 06 Mar 19 - 09:43 AM
EBarnacle 06 Mar 19 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,jag 06 Mar 19 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Observer 06 Mar 19 - 10:57 AM
Ged Fox 06 Mar 19 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,jag 06 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Observer 06 Mar 19 - 11:41 AM
Iains 06 Mar 19 - 12:06 PM
Ged Fox 06 Mar 19 - 12:27 PM
DaveRo 06 Mar 19 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,jag 06 Mar 19 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Observer 06 Mar 19 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,jag 07 Mar 19 - 02:42 AM
Ged Fox 07 Mar 19 - 07:35 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: SPANISH LADY (Helena Cinto)
From: GUEST,Guest Wellington NZ
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 08:51 PM

Hi I've come across this awesome song called 'Spanish Lady' sang by Helena Cinto - a Spanish Lady no less ! The youtube comments below it are so puerile (not sure this is the right word for Youtube comments to songs in general) I thought I'd post to a definitive source to get some real answers !

I'm thinking - and I did from the 2nd time I heard it this morning - that its about a Spanish Man o' War ship - many of them - not attractive women in a Spanish port that the sailors had various unseemly rendezvous with: how could they Spain was at war with England between 1585 and 1604 so how could the sailors go to port. It possibly dates back to the lates 1500s and early 1600s in earliest forms.

"Singeing the King of Spain's Beard is the derisive name to the attack in April and May 1587 in the Bay of Cádiz, by the English privateer Francis Drake against the Spanish naval forces assembling at Cádiz. Much of the Spanish fleet was destroyed, and substantial supplies were destroyed or captured.

I'm thinking the first line is about 'farewell to you Spanish Ladies' = 'Spanish warships - Man o' War'; 'hope it's short-lived, to see you again' meaning they wish to return and destroy more of them !

The song was apparently nearly obliterated from existence but rescued for us Mudcatters to debate hopefully! It's in the style of a sea-shanty but before they came into existence.

Come on guys back me up - I have a $5 bet with my daughter riding on this one !!

Helena Cinto sings - with an extremely cute Spanish accent' - the incredible 'Spanish Ladies' song with heaps of awesome ancient mariner terms !!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HApnGBRjVmU


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 that it's short-lived, to see you again.

[Chorus}:
We will 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
England;
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five leagues.

We hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'west, boys
We hove our ship to, for it takes soundings clear;
At fifty-five fathoms, with a fine sandy bottom,
We filled our main topsail up channel did steer.

[Chorus]

The signal was made for the grand fleet to anchor,
We put up our topsail and struck tacks and sheets;
We stood by our stoppers and bridled and spankered,
And anchored ahead of the noblest fleet.

[Chorus]

Let every man here drink up his full bumper,
Let every man here drink up his full bow;
And we will be jolly and drown melancholy,
Drink a health to each jovial of each true-hearted
soul.

[Chorus]

extra verses:

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

[Chorus]

Then the signal was made for the grand fleet to anchor,
And all in the Downs that night for to lie;
Let go your shank painter, let go your cat stopper!
Haul up your clewgarnets, let tacks and sheets fly!


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 09:18 PM

More on this - Final verse 'then the signal was made for the 'grand fleet' to anchor' - grand fleet a term used for the Royal Navy in WWII ; so is it referring to Francis Drake's fleet which destroyed around 30 Spanish ships on 19th April 1587 and caused damage to the provisions of the Spanish Armada ?

Seems it cant be about Spanish girls in port - there is absolutely no reference anywhere else in the song to indicate its about that.

Interesting hey ?

PS I remembered this raid by Francis Drake from a book I read ages ago - cant remember which one.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 09:53 PM

Here's my post to youtube:

Hi on some investigation it appears this song is really about the English grand fleet of Francis Drake destroying most of the Spanish navy on 29 April 1587 in the Bay of Biscay causing a delay of one year on the Spanish Armada sailing to England to attempt to invade it. The nautical terms used fit this period - and there's no reference to ladies at port in the song after the first few lines so it cant be about 'spanish ladies' the sailors met in a Spanish port - they were at war ! The 'Spanish ladies' are the pre Spanish Armada ships. 27 of 37 of them were destroyed by the English fleet. The fleet was on its way back to England. There are no 'british sailors' so the lyrics are incorrect and should be 'English sailors'. They hope its short lived to see the Spanish ladies again in order to rout the Spanish another time so they are relishing their victory.?


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 10:03 PM

sorry defenitely my last post today 'noblest fleet' meaning it has done something astonishing and to be extremely proud so 'distinguished' of the routing of the Spanish navy !


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 10:13 PM

The tune's also used for the Australian traditional song, Augathella Station.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Reinhard
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 01:58 AM

Wikipedia says on the origin of the song:

A ballad by the name "Spanish Ladies" was registered in the English Stationer's Company on December 14, 1624. The oldest mention of the present song does not, however, appear until the 1796 logbook of HMS Nellie, making it more likely an invention of the Napoleonic era. The timing of the mention in the Nellie's logbook suggests that the song was created during the War of the First Coalition (1793–96), when the Royal Navy carried supplies to Spain to aid its resistance to revolutionary France. It probably gained in popularity during the later Peninsular War when British soldiers were transported throughout the Iberian peninsula to assist rebels fighting against the French occupation. After their victory over the Grande Armée, these soldiers were returned to Britain but forbidden to bring their Spanish wives, lovers, and children with them.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 06:47 AM

Hi thanks plausible its origins are from one of the voluminous number of ballads done in 1588 when England defeated the Spanish Armada but I may be completely wrong - pretty obscure this one. I just feel its a lot older than the Napoleonic era even just because of the nautical terms - fathoms and leagues and not nautical miles ? fascinating Ive learnt so much today trying to figure the lyrics out : never heard of Ushant before but its an island near Brittany - Ushant to Schilly is 35 leagues - 120 miles quite some distance without any good navigational equipment again pointing to much older than Napoleonic. Well the good thing about mudcat is you can be corrected pretty quickly - so looking forward to more on this !!! Also a 'noble fleet' sounds like from the middle ages placing it slap bang in Elizabethan England. Cheers


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 07:07 AM

Here is the Spanish Ladies youtube link blickified https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HApnGBRjVmU


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 08:27 AM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Ladies


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 10:06 AM

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.

[Chorus}:
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
England;
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.
[Chorus]

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.
[Chorus]

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.
[Chorus]

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.
[Chorus]

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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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 01:29 PM

I can't remember a time when I didn't know that, i.e. I first heard it in the 50s. Recorded by a few popular singers of the era, maybe Peter Dawson or Inia te Wiata?

Tune is an unusually speeded up version of "The Banks of the Devon", which was popularized by Burns in the 1780s.

I don't think it was ever in danger of being lost.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 02:32 PM

Hi guys Ive asked an expert on old nautical terms place it in Tudor times or Napoleonic ! Will post when i get the answer.

'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?'

They didnt the Spanish Ladies are the ships. I hope Im not embarassing myself here. In the cold light of the morning what I wrote yesterday seems daft ! Hey but we wouldnt get to the bottom of songs like this without throwing up a 'straw man'.

Still I love this song. It grows on me everytime I hear it. Also makes me feel patriotic to my home country England !!! I love the nautical terms. I love the bit from Ushant to Scilly is 35 leagues. 45 fathoms. Its so evocative !!!


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: DaveRo
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 02:47 PM

I first encountered Spanish Ladies from reading Swallows and Amazons as a teenager in the '60s.

Nautically, I always wonder whether it wouldn't be better to let sheets and tacks fly before letting go the shank painter.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 03:44 PM

John Tams also sang it in Sharpe!


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: DaveRo
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 04:00 PM

Was that his extended version Spanish Bride? Excellent.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Mar 19 - 05:40 PM

The Spanish Ladies were ships!!! Apart from it originating in your own imagination where on earth did that come from?

As to nautical terms, the league as a measurement of distance was still very much in use throughout the 18th century (according to entries in Vessel Log Books - particularly those of Captain James Cook).

Nautically, I always wonder whether it wouldn't be better to let sheets and tacks fly before letting go the shank painter.

Nope, under sail coming to anchor, in company with other ships, with your anchor ready to slip, if you let sheets and tacks fly before you dropped your anchor you would lose control of your ship. Slight headway would also assist in getting the anchor to bite.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: beachcomber
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 11:49 AM

Jeeez I love this thread, this Mudcat !!!

Jack Campin and Dave Ro, you have brought back ancient memories to me. I first read of the sea shanty "Spanish Ladies" in Swallows and Amazon also (Arthur Ransome) I had no idea of the tune that John (was it ?) whistled and was delighted when, some time later, on the BBC LIGHT PROGRAMME Radio there was a Sea Shanty programme and it usually featured the late , great, CYRIL TAWNEY. He was frequently joined in his Choruses by a Devonshire group called the LOO SHANTYMEN (Are they still in existence I wonder ?) and , if memory serves me correctly, it was they who introduced the programme by singing that mighty sea song "SPANISH LADIES".They would also sing it to end each week's offering , their voices in natural harmony fading in over the sign off and fading out. It was a programme that I will never forget, from some 65 years ago.
I was delighted to hear Cyril in person at the Cobh Heritage Centre some years back and be able to tell him of the effect his singing had had on me so many years back. He was there with our own LIAM CLANCY.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 12:16 PM

The song mentions Admiral Hawke, whose moment of glory was in 1744. The idiom is much like one of Dibdin's from a few decades later, but the tune is probably a bit later still - early versions of Banks of the Devon are slow, and it would have taken a while for it to evolve into something as rumpty-tumpty as this song. Late Napoleonic jingoism at a guess.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Ged Fox
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 12:43 PM

"Where and when would Drake's sailors have had the time and leisure to get to know any Spanish Ladies? "

I doubt that "Spanish Ladies" is Elizabethan, but there is a quite separate song, C17th, "The Spanish Lady's Love". This gives the bitter-sweet tale of a Spanish lady who fell in love with her captor, Sir John Bolles, and the siege of Cadiz in 1596.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Ged Fox
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 12:45 PM

"at the siege …"


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Iains
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 01:29 PM

From Wiki:
"Admiral of the Fleet Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke, KB, PC (21 February 1705 – 17 October 1781) was a Royal Navy officer. As captain of the third-rate HMS Berwick he took part in the Battle of Toulon in February 1744 during the War of the Austrian Succession. He also captured six ships of a French squadron in the Bay of Biscay in the Second Battle of Cape Finisterre in October 1747.

Hawke went on to achieve a victory over a French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in November 1759 during the Seven Years' War, preventing a French invasion of Britain. He developed the concept of a Western Squadron, keeping an almost continuous blockade of the French coast throughout the war.
He served as First Lord of the Admiralty for five years between 1766 and 1771."


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 12:10 AM

Hi glad I started this thread. Ships in poetry are ladies no less. That's why we always say she sailed, she floundered etc as in RMS Titanic the 'Ship of Dreams'. Definitely the 'Spanish Ladies' could be the Spanish Man O War military ships.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 02:37 AM

Definitely the 'Spanish Ladies' could be the Spanish Man O War military ships.

Hardly likely at all. Yes in general ships, aircraft and cars are invariably referred to as "she", apart from the contradiction to this "convention" you mention yourself - In days of sail a vessel was always referred to as a MAN OF WAR and a Merchant Vessel was always referred to as a MERCHANTMAN. Taking into account the years throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries that England and latterly Great Britain found itself in conflict with Spain, France and Holland. Sailors in the Royal Navy would only view the ships of those nations, men o' war or merchantmen, as "the enemy" and a welcome source or riches and plunder.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 03:08 AM

Did Spain even HAVE a navy by Hawke's time?

The first period when British military could have had much contact with Spanish women was during the Peninsular War. Reinhard has got it right.

BTW another use of the same tune is for "Maids When You're Young". Musically it can't much predate 1800.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: DaveRo
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 03:16 AM

I really don't think the OP's suggestion that the ladies are ships was made seriously.

Observer: I've been reading this about anchoring a square-rigged ship. I don't know whether the procedure described would be exactly the same for a 17th century English ship but I expect so. The whole fleet doing this at once under the eye of the admiral, commodore, or whoever, must have been quite a trial for a young captain.

Stopping with the wind aft (para 754) looks hairy. Does 'breaking' mean literally breaking the ropes?


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: DaveRo
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 03:23 AM

That should have been 18th Century


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 03:45 AM

Another datable reference:

South Foreland Light

Not possible before 1635, most likely after 1793.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 05:57 AM

Very interesting link DaveRo, thank you for posting it. In the instances given all stress the importance of having steerageway on the ship so that the ship can answer her helm. It also states the differences between coming to anchor and mooring. Emphasis is also given to the ship moving at the lowest speed possible.

Regarding paragraph 754 it is the sacrificial check-stoppers that "break" when the anchor is let go. The check-stoppers are installed on the inboard ends of rope or cable flaked out on deck, they keep the rope or cable under control:

            __________________________________________ Cable tier
          (______________________________
            ______________________________)-- Check-stopper A
          (______________________________
            ______________________________)-- Check-stopper B
          (______________________________
Anchor____________________________________)-- Check-stopper C

Anchor is let go and weight comes onto Check-stopper C which breaks, the bight of cable to Check-stopper B runs out and Check-stopper B breaks when it takes the weight and so on.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: DaveRo
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 07:13 AM

So the stoppers are ropes which do physically break. I wondered whether they used some sort of sacrificial wooden pins that would snap.

Dead downwind anchoring under sail is not something I'd normally do in an ordinary yacht - or only in the lightest of breezes!


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 08:24 AM

Ok I admit it came from - not sure where - wait does this mean ive lost my $5 bet with Rebecca my daughter ? Im pleased i started the thread though. Here's to the 'Spanish Ladies' whoever they may be !!! Cheers
Steve


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: EBarnacle
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 11:08 AM

According to Steel's volume on Seamanship [1794] the correct procedure for coming to anchor is to let go the anchor then come into the wind [bow facing the wind], which allows the anchor to dig a hold into the bottom, letting out scope [anchor cable] sufficient to maintain an angle which will not pull the anchor out of the seabed. This is tested by backing down under sail to make sure the anchor is well set. [That's a précis of the process he presents.

PS, volume I of this tome is Masting and Rigging. The books were published as a guide to young officers.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: EBarnacle
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 12:04 PM

The landmarks and distances in the song are the references pilots and sailing masters would have used to bring their vessels home in the days before electronic navigation. They still work.

Reaching [or striking] soundings meant that the deep sea lead could be stowed in favor of the shorter "coastal" lead line. Being in soundings was a convenient way to get home, even in a fog. I have used it myself when the depth sounder on my boat was inoperable. "Arming the lead" with tallow is a simple way to bring up a sample of the bottom, providing an additional means of determining a vessel's location.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Ged Fox
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM

"The first period when British military could have had much contact with Spanish women was during the Peninsular War."

Nah.
The Black Prince led an expedition through Spain in the fourteenth century.
In the sixteenth, the King of Spain was also King of England as husband to Mary Tudor. Maybe (not) this song dates from 1558, when Elizabeth became queen, and the "We hope in a short time to see you again" line was a Catholic hope that Elizabeth would soon be deposed and England returned to the Catholic fold.
Or maybe (not) the song was written by someone in Prince Charles' entourage, as they returned from their failed attempt to win the hand of the Infanta.
British troops were campaigning in Catalonia in 1706.

And, given that the song has variants, it does not have to have a military or Royal Navy origin. There was 'always' trade with Spain, intermittently disrupted. Even the time of Elizabeth and Phillip II was not one of constant hostility.

Like the songs of Dibdin and all the rest, the song was quite likely the work of an armchair enthusiast whose closest link with Spain was a pint of sherry in a tavern in Deptford.

The idea that the pilots and masters used the song as a navigation aid, rather than charts and rutters and their own detailed knowledge - well, really?


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 08:09 AM

Your musings Ged are more idiotic than those posted regarding "Spanish Ladies" in the song presented in this thread being Spanish Men of War.

Just for clarity it would help if before responding to what others have written people actually read what has been said.

The song that appears to be under discussion is the one that starts:

Farewell and adieu, to ye fair Spanish Ladies

In discussing this it should be remembered that there was no such thing that could be accurately referred to as "British Military" prior to 1707. When it comes to any "organisation" that could be referred to as a standing military force England had no such force prior to the middle of the 17th century and the English Civil War. The Royal Navy on the other hand has existed since the reign of King Alfred of Wessex.

As for England's relations with Spain, from the time that Henry VIII abandoned the Roman Catholic Faith in 1532-1534, Spain in either peace or war was hostile to England and the national interests of England.

Who ever made the claim that the song was used by pilots and masters of vessels as a navigational aid? Here Ged is what WAS said:

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

The song under discussion (Not variants thereof) is naval and could not possibly come from any time before the 18th century, the reasons for stating this are there for all to see in the words of the song.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 08:36 AM

Why to educate? Lots of songs have technical terms of some industry or trade? I suppose because someone in that work thought it was good to include them in a song for their workmates, or a composer thought it would help the song sell to a knowing (or more likely unknowing) audience. If 'made up' song did get sung by people in that trade gross technnical errors of terminology would likely get ironed out.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 09:10 AM

Capt. Whatsisname in Jaws sang it too...


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: keberoxu
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 09:43 AM

Robert Shaw!
And the shark got 'im.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 09:56 AM

The song would not have been used as an aide memoire by pilots. The landmarks were well known reference locations that fitted into the song and were in use well before the song. Using them, as such, would be like fitting "Red, right, returning" into a song--completely unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 10:33 AM

To invoke the feel of ticking off well known landmarks when getting close to home after a long journey or time away.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 10:57 AM

Why to educate? Lots of songs have technical terms of some industry or trade? GUEST,jag

We are talking here about the 18th century Royal Navy. I can think of a certain section of the crew of any naval vessel in commission at the time who would be in urgent need of education - i.e. those press ganged into service who might never have been on a ship before in their lives. Their training was done on the job as there were no training establishments at the time.

The landmarks were well known reference locations that fitted into the song and were in use well before the song. EBarnacle

The landmarks would not have been known to people the length and breadth of Britain. The sequence given in the song teaches the order in which significant landmarks appear to any ship making it's way up channel.

Two lines in the chorus date the song to sometime in the 18th Century:

(a) We will rant and we'll roar like true British sailors,

(b) From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five Leagues

The Ushant to Scilly information only became a matter of significance to the Royal Navy after the introduction of a certain strategy in the 18th Century.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Ged Fox
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 11:00 AM

"it should be remembered that there was no such thing that could be accurately referred to as "British Military" prior to 1707."

Maybe - although the Stuart kings styled themselves as "of Great Britain," so Prince Charles' little party are not ruled out. But, I agree that the refrain of "True British sailors" definitely points to a time when Britain was a working entity, rather than just a union in law - so that points to later rather than earlier in the C18th. (And I am only ignoring for my own amusement the SOLE RELEVANT FACT in this discussion as given by Jack Campin.)

You over-exaggerate the continued hostility of Spain to England. There was plenty of trade between the two countries, fluctuating of course with the hot or cold of the relationship between the two countries. (Since you love my musings so much, I shall mention my Great-Uncle John, who, in 1577, was given a job as Gunner - at 8 ducats a month, no less - by the King of Spain for having brought 258 Christian men out of slavery in Alexandria. Old John Fox probably wrote the original "Spanish Ladies" while returning freely to England in 1579, and listing off, one by one, those landmarks so often remembered and longed for.)

"Who ever made the claim that the song was used by pilots and masters of vessels as a navigational aid? "
The poster immediately before me made just that claim. "The landmarks and distances in the song are the references pilots and sailing masters would have used to bring their vessels home in the days before electronic navigation."

But whether intended for navigating, or teaching navigation, or teaching how to bring a ship to anchor, the song is pretty useless, especially since different versions (all beginning "Farewell and Adieu etc") give different distances and procedures. (Although, if we didn't both agree on the later date of the song, I might have accepted the argument that Cloudesley Shovell's little accident was down to a confusion on the part of some hapless middy who happened to know the wrong version of "Spanish Ladies.")

However - all absurdities apart - I see no arguments in this thread to counter the view that "like the songs of Dibdin and all the rest, the song was quite likely the work of an armchair enthusiast whose closest link with Spain was a pint of sherry in a tavern in Deptford."


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM

a certain section of the crew of any naval vessel in commission at the time who would be in urgent need of education

Is there anything in that song that would not be done at the command of an officer of some degree? Why would a rating need to know the landmarks ? It was sufficiently unlikely for the story to be told that Cloudesly Shovell had a seaman hung as a mutineer for suggesting that his navigation was wrong when approaching the English Channel. True or not Shovell's navigation was wrong and they hit rocks off the Isles of Scilly with the loss of all lives.

The Ushant to Scilly information only became a matter of significance to the Royal Navy after the introduction of a certain strategy in the 18th Century

Ushant and Scilly are the landmarks (and hazards) on either side of the entrance to the English Channel. Thirty five leagues is not a big target when entering the western approaches not knowing your longitude other than by dead reckoning. That's why the 'fine sandy bottom' is important because helps know were you are - the nature of the bottom was and is marked on the charts.

Admiral Shovell's disaster was 1707. The tricky nature of getting into the English Channel before you could see one of the sides was a matter of significance long before that.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 11:41 AM

I see no arguments in this thread to counter the view that "like the songs of Dibdin and all the rest, the song was quite likely the work of an armchair enthusiast whose closest link with Spain was a pint of sherry in a tavern in Deptford.

I think somewhere above some said or quoted the following - The oldest mention of the present song does not, however, appear until the 1796 logbook of HMS Nellie

I would have thought that if the song had been written by some "armchair enthusiast" there would have been records from the time whoever it was printed it and had it performed (Like all of the compositions of the likes of Charles Dibdin).


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Iains
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 12:06 PM

It was not until John Harrison's chronometer went to Jamaica in 1765 that a reliable computation of longitude existed. Prior to that many ships foundered due to bad navigation.
In 1714, the British Board of Longitude announced a competition: £20,000 (or £1.5m in today’s currency would be awarded to whoever developed the most accurate way to calculate longitude at sea.

As mentioned above dead reckoning could make you very dead. 5 ships and 1400 casualties when Shovell navigated into rather than around the Isles of Scilly

https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/what-made-search-way-determine-longitude-so-important


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Ged Fox
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 12:27 PM

"That's why the 'fine sandy bottom' is important because helps know were you are - the nature of the bottom was and is marked on the charts."

Quite right, which is one reason why this song, taken seriously, would be a danger to navigation. "55 fathoms (say 100 to 110 metres) with a fine sandy bottom" - where would that put you? Not on a line between Scilly and Ushant. Maybe on a lee shore (in a south-westerly) in the bight between Land's End and the Lizard, and God help you if you want to reach the Dodman. Any other offers?


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: DaveRo
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 01:09 PM

Chart.

Seems to be mainly sand and shells, but that wouldn't scan ;)


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 05:29 PM

@DaveRo. Yes 100m is about it. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Depth-contour-map-of-the-Celtic-Sea_fig1_267303278

That was what I was told when the words were first explained to me. (Beware folks that that some of the charts Google finds have depths in feet)


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 06 Mar 19 - 07:22 PM

The chart linked to by DaveRo gives depths in metres.

this song, taken seriously, would be a danger to navigation. "55 fathoms (say 100 to 110 metres) with a fine sandy bottom" - where would that put you?

If you are entering the Channel from the west/south-west and you are sounding for depth at 100 metres and you heave to when you get that depth then, according to that linked Chart of the Channel then the one thing you do know is that you are safe as you will have stopped short to the west of both Ushant and Bishop's Rock in the Scilly Isles.

Again looking at the chart if the wind was from the South-West when you hove-to that would mean that it would be blowing from the perfect direction for a square-rigged ship to run before the wind straight up the Channel. A wind that would put you on a lee-shore would be blowing from the North to North-West (Blowing you onto the coast of France) or from the South to South-East (Blowing you onto the coast of Cornwall).


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 07 Mar 19 - 02:42 AM

Yes I know the chart linked by DaveRo gives the depth in metres. And I was sure the person who explaned the words to me ( somewhere between Falmouth and Ushant - we were singing the song) was correct. But Google only found me charts in feet with no key, which might be what Ged Fox was looking at. No need to make a fuss about it.


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Subject: RE: spanish lady
From: Ged Fox
Date: 07 Mar 19 - 07:35 AM

Exactly so, thank you, Jag.

But, Observer, I could not find an equivalent of a "fine sandy bottom," i.e. "sand" rather than "sand shells" out in the approaches. Lat & Long, please, if you can manage it, thanks.


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