The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169254   Message #4164071
Posted By: Felipa
31-Jan-23 - 05:54 PM
Thread Name: Any January Songs?
Subject: RE: Any January Songs?
William Thompson wrote some poems about the sinking of the Princess Victoria ferry between Scotland and Northern Ireland, 31 Jan 1953
William was an ardent supporter of the lifeboat service RNLI


It was a day of tragedy near Ulster’s lovely shore,
When many hoped to see the land, saw it again no more,
For precious lives were lost upon that tragic day -
Upon a wild and stormy sea where death alone held sway.

The “Princess Victoria” left Stranraer for dear old Ireland,
Her Captain was James Ferguson, who then was in command.
On leaving fair Lough Ryan to cross the sea to Larne
This noble vessel from the seas soon came to grief and harm.

The tempest raged on fiercely, there were snow blizzards, too,
The vessel soon heeled over and she was hid from view;
Her radio operator sent his message far and near,
While those on board the doomed ship were all distraught with fear.

There was a lady missionary on board the ship that day
Intent on visiting Erin to enjoy a pleasant stay;
Ere she returned to Africa’s land, where for twenty years or more
She laboured for the Lord, ere she saw her native shore.

Her name was Nancy Bryson, and she lost her life that day,
Her body was recovered from the waters of the bay –
Identified, and laid to rest, her labours at an end,
A ministering angel on that ship, the little children’s friend.

The last few hours of her life were gladly given o’er
In bringing consolation to hearts now sad and sore;
She spoke of Jesus and His love, and all His power to save,
She told the tale of heaven and home, and life beyond the grave.

As Nancy Bryson spoke those words to many a troubled heart
Who soon would bid each one farewell, as death must soon them part,
She saw the power of Jesus’ name, to calm and bring relief
To troubled hearts in sorrow, and in the hour of grief.

As Nancy Bryson told the tale of Jesus’ wondrous love
We know that many passed that day into the home above.
Where there is no more sorrow, no parting, and no sea,
Upon whose shore no storm will beat through all Eternity.

Tho’ Nancy Bryson has passed on, ‘tis true she speaketh still,
Her fame has gone through all the world, and surely ever will.
God had her there on purpose, upon that ship that day,
To point the soul to Jesus, the true and living way.

The husband and the children, though parted from her here,
Now miss her tender presence, her words of hope and cheer;
But in God’s happy heaven, where partings all are o’er
The death divided shall clasp hands, where death divides no more.

Dear Nancy Bryson feared not death upon the ocean wave,
Her trust was in the Saviour, who triumphed o’er the grave;
Her mind was kept in perfect peace, until her work was done –
The “Princess Victoria” heroine, if ever there was one.

The lifeboatmen were all intent and eager for to save,
Yet in spite of all their efforts many found a watery grave:
From Cloughey and Portpatrick, and the village of the ‘Dee,
These Coxswains braved the terrors of that wild, tempestuous sea.

My simple tale has now been told of Nancy Bryson’s fame,
So that your trust, dear reader, may be in Jesus’ name;
And when our day is ended, and life’s short voyage o’er,
We’ll anchor in that haven where tempests howl no more.

Her name was missing from the list of those saved from the sea,
But in the Book of Life ‘tis found, “Saved for Eternity”.
This noble woman was the Lord’s, in life, as well as death,
And sought to comfort all on board until her latest breath.

This tragedy of the sea has led to a Newtownards Flag Day,
So support the Institution and support it generously.
We have two Lifeboat Stations, one in Cloughey and the ‘Dee –
They give their service freely, these heroes of the sea.

a poem published in 1953 doesn't appear to me to be singable. Description on Abebooks page
The poet Roy McFadden, 1921-1999, has been somewhat overlooked among northern Irish poets. This elegy, on the sinking of the ferry the Princess Victoria, was written after the publication of his first three anthologies, and is rare.

"There are so many ways of falling out of life:-The leaping tiger of disease, the stalking over; The innocent step and stumble; the shout and hurtle of wheels; The gross and subtle armouries of war. And always in parenthesis, the white And hardening sleep of the sleeper slipping unto death"

on 29 Jan 2023 Geoff Lawes posted a link to PRINCESS VICTORIA written, composed and sung by Gareth Davies-Jones

Link to Felipa’s post above with information about MV Princess Victoria (1946)  ferry disaster