Henry's Songbook

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The Bold Princess Royal

  • Trad

    On the fourteenth day of February we sailed from the land
    On the bold Princess Royal bound for Newfoundland
    We had forty brave seamen in the ship's companie
    And boldly from the eastward tae the westward sailed we

    Now we had not been sailing scarce days two or three
    When the man on our masthead strange sails he did see
    He come bearing down on us for to see what we were
    And under his mizzen, boys, black colours he wore

    Oh Lord, cries our captain, What shall us do now
    Here a-comes a bold pirate for to rob us, I know
    O no, cries the first mate, That never shall be so
    We'll pull out our reef boys and away from him we'll go

    Now this bold pirate he hove alongside
    With a loudspeaking trumpet, Whence gang you, he cried
    Our captain being up, my boys, he answered him so
    We come from fair London and we're bound for Peru

    Come heave up your courses and bring your ship to
    I have a long letter to send home by you
    I shall not heave up my courses nor bring my ship to
    It will be in some harbour, not alongside of you

    Now he chased us to the windward all of that live long day
    And he chased us to the westward but couldn't get no way
    He fired shots after us but none did prevail
    And the bold Princess Royal soon showed him her tail

    Good Lord, cries our captain, Now the pirate is gone
    Go you down to your grog, boys, go down every one
    Go you down to your grog, boys, and be of good cheer
    While the bold Princess has sea-room, brave boys, never fear

    As sung by Louis Killen

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1964:] It's not clear whether this relates a real encounter with a pirate ship or if it's merely an adventure story dreamed up by a broadside poet for the sake of the price of a beer. Anyway, it remained a firm favourite for at least a century-and-a-half and is still to be heard in the countryside, sung to various tunes, mostly good ones. The melody here is substantially that collected by Vaughan Williams from a shepherd named Pottipher of Ingrave, Essex. (A. L. Lloyd, notes 'Farewell Nancy')

    [1979:] This capital song of adventure on the high seas has enjoyed wide popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. In England it has been recorded in sea-faring communities right down the east coast from Yorkshire to Sussex [...] The present version [see above] is one of comparatively few recorded in Scotland. It is included as a fine example of a folksong from the south which has travelled to Aberdeenshire via the sea route. (Hamish Henderson, notes 'Bothy Ballads')

    [1980:] Of all the pirate ballads, this one, in which crime emphatically does not pay, is perhaps the best known and loved. East Anglian singers are particularly fond of it [...]. (Palmer, Ballads 132)

Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 08.09.99