The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73318   Message #3131720
Posted By: Jim Dixon
09-Apr-11 - 12:08 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
Subject: Lyr Add: THE ROBBER'S RETREAT (from G. Goodenough)
From The Handy Man Afloat & Ashore by George Goodenough (Boston: Small Maynard & Company, 1901), page 92, which has musical notation for one voice:

The following song always struck me as having one of the finest airs ever sung on a foc's'le. To hear the chorus pealing forth from some hundred or more throats was a thing to be remembered. The only pity is that the words are not more sensible. Such as they are they were very difficult to obtain. A bluejacket once wrote down all he could remember of them for me, but the copy got mixed up with other papers and I thought I had lost it. No one else could I find that could repair the supposed loss. Inquiries at second-hand music shops in London were fruitless. Many men could tell me that they knew the song but could not give me the words. Quite recently I came across my copy and here is the song.


THE ROBBER'S RETREAT.

1. We come from yonder mountains, our pistols are loaded,
For to rob and to plunder it is our intent,
As we roam through the valleys where the lilies and the roses,
And the beautiful cashmere lies drooping its head.

CHORUS: Then away, then away, then away, away,
To the caves in yonder mountains, to the robbers' retreat.

2. Hark, hark! in the distance there's footsteps approaching:
Stand, stand and deliver shall be our watchword;
    As we roam, &c.


Poor words: the lines not even rhyming, and the sentiment not very edifying. But you forget this as you hear the melody rolling out from those lusty throats with a glorious swing in the chorus of "Then away, then away, then away ? away!" Perhaps we may some day find a poet who will link stirring and worthy words to this splendid melody; but meantime we may forgive the poorness of the song for the sake of the ring of the music.