The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36776   Message #509922
Posted By: Grab
18-Jul-01 - 06:29 PM
Thread Name: Songs about lifeboat disaster, 1886?
Subject: Songs about lifeboat disaster, 1886?
I'm (originally) from a place called Lytham St. Annes, in Lancashire, England, and I've been thinking about learning and/or writing some songs about my local history.

The most significant local incident was the Mexico Disaster in 1886. A ship called the Mexico ran aground in a storm, and the Lytham, St. Annes and Southport lifeboats all went out to help. The St. Annes lifeboat was lost with all hands, the Southport lifeboat capsized and all the crew but two were drowned, but the Lytham lifeboat managed to reach the ship and take the crew to safety. 27 lifeboatmen (all volunteers) died to save the 12 crewmen of the Mexico, which is still the worst loss of life in the history of the British lifeboat service. A contribution fund was set up to help the families, and to raise awareness of the fund (and the contribution of lifeboatmen in general), Flag Day was instituted.

Being 1886, plenty of bad Victorian poetry was apparently written about it, and I've found one already on the web (called The Warriors Of The Sea - you can imagine the style). I've no intention of repeating that tripe; what I'm interested in finding is anyone who knows of any better-written songs about the event, or of any decent poems which could be put to music. Failing that, I'll roll my own, but I'd be interested to see if anyone knows of existing ones.

Amazingly, considering Britain's nautical history, the only mentions I've found of the incident are on local history sites in Lancashire or lifeboat sites - I've not found mention of it on any chantey sites or sites about nautical history.


PS. Found one song by a band called "Odd at Ease", but I don't like it.