The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62576   Message #1011323
Posted By: Rick Fielding
02-Sep-03 - 01:08 PM
Thread Name: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
Subject: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
On last night's Acoustic Workshop radio show, I played several versions of the grand old ballad "The Golden Vanity", complete with all the strange variations in text (Turkish Revelee, Merry Golden Tree, Spanish Enemy etc.)

In some versions the little cabin boy sinks his OWN ship because of his Captain's perfidy, and in others, he can't bring himself to drown his mess-mates just to wreak vengeance on the Captain.

But in one area they are all pretty much the same....he sinks the enemy by drilling holes (one, three, nine, etc.) into their hull.

So here's the question I got asked by a doubtful listener:

Would it be possible to sink a big ship in the time of Henry V111 to Elizabeth 1 in this manner?

My immediate answer was "of course not, it's just a song", but Heather said: "Let's ask the Mudcat, we may be surprised."

So if there's anyone with good info on this (or even anyone who's BEEN a Cabin boy, and sunk the odd ship with their little auger!!) what do you think.