The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93519   Message #1800905
Posted By: Les from Hull
03-Aug-06 - 06:10 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Bellamy's 'On Board a 98'?
Subject: RE: Bellamy's 'On Board a 98'?
Of course he was incredibly lucky to go from boatswain's mate to boatswain of a 98. The usual track would be to be boatswain of a unrated ship, then promoted to a sixth rate and so on...

As boatswain he would be attached to the ship rather than the crew, serving from commission to commission as one of the 'standing' warrant officers.

The blue coat and three-cocked hat refer to the uniform of the Greenwich Pensioners (old fashioned in Napoleonic times)

I take the 'blast me' as a Bellamism, being a much more Norfolk (UK) sort of an expletive. If you've got Peter's recording of the song (it's excellent) you'll know why the humourous anagram of his name is 'Elmer P Bleaty'!