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Origins: The Victory/On Board of the Victory

DigiTrad:
ON BOARD THE VICTORY


Related thread:
Lyr Req: The Victory (from Steeleye Span) (3)


GUEST,ChrisA 03 May 07 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 03 May 07 - 08:16 AM
Greg B 03 May 07 - 08:28 AM
GUEST 03 May 07 - 05:14 PM
Joe Offer 04 May 07 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,ChrisA 04 May 07 - 05:19 AM
Malcolm Douglas 04 May 07 - 12:24 PM
Jim Dixon 11 May 07 - 07:39 AM
bubblyrat 26 May 11 - 03:21 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 11 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 26 May 11 - 04:04 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 11 - 04:17 PM
Steve Gardham 26 May 11 - 04:35 PM
Steve Gardham 26 May 11 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Dave Hatton 23 Sep 11 - 08:51 AM
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Subject: Origins: The Victory
From: GUEST,ChrisA
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:04 AM

Can anyone help me with the history of the song 'The Victory'. The only version I have heard recorded is the Steeleye version.Trad arr.Steeleye. I have searched the Mudcat archive but would like to know where and when it was collected? are the lyrics and tune faithful to the collected or a blending of material?

Hope someone can help.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:16 AM

Look under 'On Board the Victory' in the DT lyrics section.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory
From: Greg B
Date: 03 May 07 - 08:28 AM

Which reference states:

--From the album "Wish You Were Here" by Boys of the Lough
This was a broadside ballad, no doubt adapted from an earlier source
to capitalize on Lord Nelson and the English Navy's victory at the
Battle of Trafalgar. "The Banks of the Sweet Dundee" is possibly a
variant of the earlier source. The tunes are somewhat similar

Roy Palmer, in the Oxford Book of Sea Songs states, about
a song called 'A New Song called the Victory' (an obvious
broadside name):

The Victory was commissioned in 1778 and became Nelson's flagship in
1803. She is now preserved at Portsmouth. It seems strange that the
death ofa lover is mentioned only in the last line of a song about him.
Originally, perhaps, the subject was his enforced absence (through the
pressgang), and one version printed by Such, ends in this way: "Now
since that I am robbed of the lad that I adore, My prayer will be
offered up for him for evermore.It will be my daily prayer wherever
that that may be, That providence will protect me till he comes
home from sea.' After the battle of Trafalgar, the earlier version
might have been changed to record the lover's death. The argument
about origins cannot be conclusive, since no early text seems to
have survived. Wheeler's dates from between 1838 and 1845. The
the elaborate tune is from a version noted as recently as 1951 in
Nova Scotia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 07 - 05:14 PM

If you look in 'The Common Muse' published by Penguin in 1965 (my copy)- on page 131 there's the song 'Victory' - I am a youthful lady, my troubles they are great .....' That song is followed by 'A New Song Composed on the Death of Lord Nelson' which has the refrain - Mourn, England, mourn, mourn and complain, For the loss of Lord Nelson who died on the main.
I think that Steeleye tacked the one onto the other and - with their own tune(?) made a pretty good song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 May 07 - 03:39 AM

Looks like there's quite a bit of information to dig up on this song. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

On Board of the Victory

DESCRIPTION: "I am a young girl whose fortune is great." Her father has her lover, "below my degree," impressed. After a fight with the press-gang he is shipped aboard the Victory. She dreams of being with him on board and prays for his return.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1839 (broadside, Bodleian Firth c.13(280))
KEYWORDS: courting war ship father mother sailor pressgang grief loneliness love navy separation sea lover nobility
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Oct 21, 1805 - Battle of Trafalgar, the greatest naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars. H.M.S. _Victory_ is Nelson's flagship in that battle.
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Peacock, pp. 484-485, "On Board of The Victory" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-Labrador 41, "Victory" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-Maritime, p. 42, "On Board of the Victory" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #2278
RECORDINGS:
Grace Clergy, "On Board of the Victory" (on MRHCreighton)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Firth c.13(280), "On Board the Victory," J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Harding B 11(898), Firth c.12(220), Harding B 11(1911), Harding B 11(2901), Harding B 26(474), "On Board the Victory[!!]"; Harding B 25(1420), Harding B 11(2846), Firth c.12(222), "On Board of the Victory"; Harding B 20(178), "The Victory"
Notes: Ironically, Mr. Clergy's family is of French descent. - PJS
HMS Victory was launched in 1765, commissioned in 1778, and served in the wars with France associated with the American Revolutionary. She served in the Mediterranean during the early phases of the French revolution. She was withdrawn from sea service in 1812, and dry-docked in 1922. It will be evident that many young men served on her at battles other than Trafalgar -- but, as most Napoleonic songs mention Waterloo, so most naval songs of the era seem to assume a setting at Trafalgar. - RBW
[In] broadside Harding B 20(178), [the girl's] sweetheart is killed with Nelson at Trafalgar. - BS
File: Peac484

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory
From: GUEST,ChrisA
Date: 04 May 07 - 05:19 AM

Thanks for your help on this one. So there is plenty of information on lyrics and I understand a lot of broadsides were sung to popular tunes of the day but do we know where the tune came from? Are there any references in 'The Common Muse'?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 May 07 - 12:24 PM

No; that book is concerned with texts only. As was usually the case at that time, the broadsides don't specify any particular tune. The song is rare in tradition and only three oral examples are known (see above), all from Canada.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ON BOARD THE VICTORY (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 May 07 - 07:39 AM

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads Harding B 11(2901), printed by W. S. Fortey (London) between 1858 and 1885. Firth c.13(280), printed by J. Catnach, (London) between 1813 and 1838 is nearly identical, but the version below has a couple of phrases that make more sense.

ON BOARD THE VICTORY

I am a young girl whose fortune is great.
My tongue it is scarce able my sorrows to relate,
For loving of a young man who is below my degree.
He was forced from my arms on board of the Victory.

His eyes are like diamonds bright, or like the clear full moon.
His cheeks are like two roses that blow in the month of June.
He is nicely composed in every degree.
My heart lies in his bosom on board of the Victory.

Many a pleasant hour my love and I did meet
With kisses and embraces and compliments so sweet.
I gave my hand and promised I would wed with none but he.
I did not know my love would go on board the Victory.

Twenty of the press-gang they did my love surround,
Where seven of these cowardly dogs lay bleeding on the ground.
Until he was overpowered, he fought most manfully.
He was forced to yield and then go on board the Victory.

At night upon my pillow I can find no rest.
The thoughts of my dear jewel disturbs my wounded breast.
When I sleep, I dream I do enjoy my lover's company,
So close rolled in his arms on board the Victory.

It was my cruel parents first sent my love away.
It was my cruel father that sent my love to sea.
Was he a man of blood, or of any high degree,
He never would have sent the lad that I adore on board the Victory.

Now since I am robbed of my lad that I adore,
My prayer will be offered up for him evermore.
It will be my daily prayer, wherever he may be,
For Providence will protect him till he comes home from sea.


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Subject: 'On Board Of The Victory'
From: bubblyrat
Date: 26 May 11 - 03:21 PM

I have managed to get the words to this song , as performed by "Boys Of The Lough" on their "Wish You Were Here" album , but I can't find it to actually listen to anywhere on the internet ( apart from a weird version by Steeleye Span !!) . Does anyone know if anyone , BOTL or otherwise, has performed it on Youtube or anywhere ?
                   Cheers


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory/On Board of the Victory
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 11 - 03:51 PM

Hi, Bubblyrat-
Hope you don't mind that I've moved you over to an existing thread. As shown in the Traditional Ballad Index entry above, there is a recording on "On Board of the Victory" by Grace Clergy, collected by Helen Creighton. It's on the Smithsonian Folkways album titled Maritime Folk Songs: From the Collection of Helen Creighton. Note that this is a very different song from the lyrics in the Digital Tradition.

Here are the lyrics from the CD booklet:


ON BOARD OF THE VICTORY

I am a noble lady,
My fortune it is great,
My tongue is scarcely able
My sorrows to relate,
For the courting of a young man
Who was so dear to me,
He's ploughing the main ocean
On board of the Victory.

It's on my bed each night I lie
No comfort can I find,
The thoughts of my true love
Still running in my mind,
I think I can embrace him,
And his fond company,
My heart lies in his bosom
On board of the Victory.

His eyes were like two diamonds
Bright as the rising moon,
His cheeks were like two roses
That bloom in the month of June,
He is so neatly composed
And in ev-er-y degree
My heart lies in his bosom
On board of the Victory.


Sung by Mr. Grace Clergy, East Petpeswick, August 1951.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory/On Board of the Victory
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 26 May 11 - 04:04 PM

In 2005 The Halliard (Nic Jones, Dave Moran, Nigel Paterson) re-released their original LP (on CD) They also took the chance to do some new songs. One of which was Nics first solo recording since his accident in the 80's. Accompanied (magnificently) by his son Joe on guitar, plus a couple of cameo bits from John Dipper and myself. Nics version of the "Victory" is magnificent. The CD (plus book) is available from the "Mollie Music" website.


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Subject: ADD Version: On Board of the Victory
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 11 - 04:17 PM

Peacock has yet another version:

ON BOARD OF THE VICTORY

Oh I am a fair young lady whose fortune has been great,
My tongue has scarce been able my sorrows to relate,
For loving of a young man beneath my own degree,
He was forced all from my arms on board of the Victory.

His eyes like shining diamonds, the arrows on the moon,
His cheeks were like two roses bloomed in the month of June,
He was manly in proportion to every degree,
And my heart lies in his bosom on board of the Victory.

It was my cruel parents who had sent him away,
It was my cruel father who sent my love to sea.
If he were born of noble blood and me of a low degree
They never would have sent that lad I love on board of the Victory.

As I lay on my pillow I dreamed I was at rest,
I dreamed I was a-lying all on my true love's breast,
I dreamed I was enjoying my love's sweet company,
To be pulled close in his arms on board of the Victory.



Notes: A three-verse variant from Nova Scotia appears in Helen Creighton's Maritime Folk Songs. The tunes are different, but their melodic contours suggest they came from a common ancestor.

Singer: Charlotte Decker, Parson's Pond, Newfoundland; August 1959

I can type up a MIDI if anyone wants it.

-Joe-


Source: Kenneth Peacock, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, pp. 484-485.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory/On Board of the Victory
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 May 11 - 04:35 PM

The Fortey variant given above contains several stock lines and phrases common in broadside ballads, particularly the first halves of sts 1, 3, 5 and 6.

Most of these ballads (though by all means not all) were contemporary with the events they describe, for obvious commercial reasons. As the Victory's height of fame was at Trafalgar it was probably composed sometime close to 1805.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory/On Board of the Victory
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 May 11 - 05:17 PM

However, she was built in 1765, the seventh and last of that name, simply because she's still officially a Naval vessel. Pressing ended with the finish of the Napoleonic Wars so we're talking pre-1815.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Victory/On Board of the Victory
From: GUEST,Dave Hatton
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 08:51 AM

On another tangent, I wrote a song about Victory which I recorded a rough, early version on YouTube and I'd be very happy to hear someone more competent than me have a go at it.
Victory by Dave Hatton
Any comments appreciated; it's one of a few Kentish songs I've been writing over the years.
Dave


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