The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #127132   Message #2833367
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
08-Feb-10 - 05:31 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Ship Rambolee / Loss of the Ramillies
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SHIP RAMBOLEE (Doerflinger)

I've answered you by email, but thought I'd supply the text here for any others who are looking for the song. It's in Doerflinger's Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman. Milt Okun recorded it for Stinson back in the 1950s.

Doerflinger tells how he found it in an article by Dan Milner, "William Main Doerflinger, Dean of Maritime Music Scholars," at

"Bill raised enough money to stay on in Nova Scotia in hopes of collecting maritime songs. Much later, he admitted to his son, Tom Doerflinger, that he was at first very apprehensive about approaching total strangers to ask whether they knew any old fishing songs. His fears were soon dispelled. Setting out by bus down Digby Neck on his first day of collecting, he mentioned his purpose to the driver, Guy Morehouse. "Oh, like this?" said Mr. Morehouse, whose father had been a sea captain, and he promptly sang "The Ship Rambolee," about the shipwreck of the H.M.S. Ramillies off the coast of Devon, England in 1760. Bill never looked back after that encounter and the 60 or so songs that he collected on that first trip formed the basis of his Princeton thesis and would become the nucleus of his brilliant book on the folk songs of the American Northeast and Canadian Maritimes."

The song itself isn't quoted there, but here it is, from Doerflinger's book 144-. Bob


It happened on a certain day,
The Ship Rambolee at her anchor lay,
That very night a storm came on,
And the ship Rambolee from her anchor did run.

CHO: So come all you girls, you girls that I adore,
Pray for the sailors that are on the lee shore.

Now, the boats we in so nimbly did toss,
Some jumped in, while others were lost,
Some in one boat and some in another,
While the watch down below, boys, they did smother.

Weep, pretty maidens, weep with me,
Weep for the sailors that were on the Rambolee,
Only three remains to tell the tale
How the ship behaved in that dreadful gale.