The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67291   Message #1131643
Posted By: BB
08-Mar-04 - 02:45 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Robert Whitworth (RNLI Lifeboat)
Subject: Lyr Add: LOUISA'S JOURNEY (Rachelle Jeffs)
Here are the words to Rachelle Jeffs's song, which she wrote shortly after the centenary of the event, which was reconstructed in 1999. However, they weren't allowed to use horses to pull the boat - health and safety or animal rights or something of that ilk - and had to use a tractor instead! It was, incidentally, the first song Rachelle ever wrote, and although it has faults, it's a powerful song.

LOUISA'S JOURNEY by Rachelle Jeffs

Day was turning into night when Louisa's name was called;
A ship in trouble in the bay, but the lifeboat's launch was stalled;
'The sea's too wild, the blinding rain - we'll never get her off.
The only was is overland, but the going will be tough.'

CHORUS:
'Away, men, away!
We'll launch from Porlock Bay/
'Tis far I know, but away we'll go.
We'll launch from Porlock Bay,
We'll launch from Porlock Bay.'

So overland they started out, a hundred men or so,
With eighteen horses harnessed up, some fourteen miles to go;
The hills were steep, the going rough, and one by one they failed,
Till only twenty men were left to face the storm and gale.

Up and up to County Gate, and on into Somerset,
These brave and fearless men went on, their destination set;
Ten hours and a half they journeyed on, these men who showed no fear
To take Louisa to her launch at the calmer Porlock Weir.

The crew of the Forest Hall were amazed to see Louisa's bow
As she rode the mighty waves; their rescue had come now;
So long they'd waited for this time, for these men so brave and bold,
All heroes to the Forest Hall, they came through the wind and cold.

It was twenty-four hours or maybe more before they were all home;
Louisa's men were hungry, tired and frozen to the bone,
But heroes of their time they were; none will forget this tale,
How the Lynmouth men saved the Forest Hall in the rain and the cold and gale.

If you want the tune, you'll have to buy our CD! :)

We recently heard that the Minehead lifeboat crew realised that they could end up in a similar situation, so they decided to try an overland haul with their own boat through to Porlock. They used a local carter who was also a lifeboatman, and they hitched up four pairs of horses, dragged the boat out of Minehead, and all was going well until, coming down Dunster Steep, the brakeman lost the rope. The carter realised what was happening, whipped up the team to a gallop, and managed to drive them all the way through the twists and turns of Porlock, and finally brought the team under control going up the other side towards the Weir. His employer was so impressed with what he'd done that he gave him an extra sixpence a week on his wages, and until the day he retired, he was the best paid carter in Minehead!

Barbara