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Billy Weeks Tune Req: A Sea Song (8) RE: Tune Req: A Sea Song 29 Jul 08


In a thread around five years ago, discussing the song 'Why Call Us Common Sailors', I reported that the version I learned from a Tyneside singer in the 1950s had an introductory verse (to a different tune) with the words:

You gentlemen of Engerland, you stay home every night,
Sitting by your fireside and smoking your long pipe,
While us poor lads go out to sea, exposed to wind and rain,
And never know when we go out if we'll return again.
Then why call us common sailors any more?...etc.

This seems to contain a distant memory of a song which appears in one printed version (which I have) as a glee, attributed to J W Callcott called 'You Gentlemen of England or The New Mariners'. This was published by Bown in London, in or shortly after 1818, but there are much earlier versions in print. Callcott (he d.1821) also did glee settings for 'As I Was Going to Derby' and 'To all You Ladies Now on Land'.

Calcott's glee was presumably an adaptation of Qs earlier song. The glee tune is quite different from the one I have in my head, but the words of the first verse are:

You gentlemen of England that live at home at ease,
Ah,little do you think upon the dangers of the seas.
Give ear unto the mariners and they will plainly show
All the cares and the fears (rpt twice)
When the stormy winds do blow. (rpt twice)


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