The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123746   Message #2727469
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
20-Sep-09 - 02:36 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: British Man of War
Subject: Lyr Add: BRITISH MAN OF WAR

It was down in yonder meadow I carelessly did stray,
And I beheld a lady fair with some young sailor gay,
He said my lovely Susan, I soon will leave the shore,
And to cross the briny ocean in a British man of war.
Pretty Susan fell to weeping, oh! young sailor she did say,
How can you be so venturesome to throw yourself away,
It's when I am twenty-one I shall receive my store,
Jolly sailor do not venture in a British man of war.
O Susan, lovely Susan, the truth to you I will tell,
The British flag insulted is, old England knows it well,
I may be crown'd with laurels so like a jolly tar,
I will face the walls of China in a British man of war.
O sailor do not venture for to face the proud Chinese,
For they will prove as treacherous as any Portuguese,
And by the same deadly dagger you may receive a scar,
So its turn your inclinations from a British man of war.
Susan, lovely Susan, the time will quickly pass,
So come down to the ferry house and have a parting glass,
My shipmates they are waiting to row me from the shore,
And it's for old England's glory in a British man of war.
Then the sailor took his handkerchief and cut it fair in two,
O Susan keep one half for me and I'll do the same by you,
The bullets may surround me and cannons loudly roar,
I will fight for fame and Susan in a British man of war.
Then a few more words together when her love let go her hand,
A jovial crew, they launched the boat merrily from the land,
The sailor waved his handkerchief when far away from shore,
Pretty Susan blessed her sailor in a British man of war.

From the period of British expansion and the Opium War, prob. c. 1840.
Firth c.13(250) and other copies, song sheet, Ordoyno, Nottingham, Bodleian Collection.