The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61881   Message #1814921
Posted By: Jim Dixon
21-Aug-06 - 05:10 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Onboard a 98: Peter Bellamy
Subject: Lyr Add: ON BOARD OF A NINETY-EIGHT (from Bodleian
Here's my transcription from the broadsides at the Bodleian â€" see Malcolm Douglas' link above. There are many minor differences between this version and Bellamy's, and one whole verse that he didn't use. I have modernized the spelling and punctuation.


When I was young and scarce eighteen, I drove a roaring trade,
And many a sly trick I have played with many a pretty maid.
My parents found that would not do; I soon should spend their store,
So they resolved that I should go on board of a man-of-war.
Fol de rol, &c.

A bold press-gang surrounded me. Their warrant they did show.
They swore that I should go to sea and face the daring foe.
Then off they lugged me to the boat. O how I cursed my fate!
'Twas then I found that I must float on board of a ninety-eight.

When first I put my foot on board, how I began to stare!
Our Admiral he gave the word: "There is no time to spare".
They weighed their anchor, shook out sail, and off they bore me straight
To watch the foe in storm and gale on board of a ninety-eight.

Before we reached America, they gave me many a drill.
They soon learnt me a nimble way to handle an iron pill.
In course of time, a fight begun when bold Jack-tars laid straight.
What would I give if I could run from on board of a ninety-eight!

But as time flew, I bolder grew, and hardened was to war.
I'd run aloft with my ship's crew and valued not a scar.
So well I did my duty do, till I got Boatswain's mate,
And damn me, soon got Boatswain too, on board of a ninety-eight.

So years rolled by. At Trafalgar, brave Nelson fought and fell.
As they capsized that hardy tar, I caught a rap as well.
To Greenwich College I then came because I saved my pate.
They only knocked one wing off Jack on board of a ninety-eight.

So now my cocoa I can take, my pouch with 'bacco stored.
With my blue clothes and three-cocked hat, I'm as happy as a Lord.
I have done my duty, served my King, and now I bless my fate;
But damn me, I'm too old to sing. I'm nearly ninety-eight!