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Lyr Req/Add: Common British Tars (Ron Baxter)

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Charley Noble 17 Aug 08 - 10:15 AM
Terry McDonald 17 Aug 08 - 01:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Aug 08 - 11:52 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Aug 08 - 05:54 AM
Charley Noble 18 Aug 08 - 08:36 AM
Sailor Ron 18 Aug 08 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Dave Hill 18 Aug 08 - 03:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Aug 08 - 07:33 PM
Charley Noble 18 Aug 08 - 07:59 PM
Sailor Ron 19 Aug 08 - 04:01 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 08 - 08:55 AM
Charley Noble 19 Aug 08 - 09:34 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 08 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,JeffB 19 Aug 08 - 01:33 PM
Charley Noble 19 Aug 08 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,JeffB 19 Aug 08 - 05:31 PM
Charley Noble 19 Aug 08 - 08:07 PM
EBarnacle 19 Aug 08 - 08:52 PM
Charley Noble 22 Oct 09 - 09:23 AM
Joe_F 22 Oct 09 - 08:28 PM
Charley Noble 23 Oct 09 - 09:12 AM
Tug the Cox 23 Oct 09 - 12:22 PM
Tug the Cox 23 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Winger 23 Oct 09 - 02:21 PM
Joe_F 23 Oct 09 - 08:03 PM
Charley Noble 23 Oct 09 - 08:17 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 09 - 03:02 PM
Charley Noble 21 Oct 12 - 08:03 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 10:15 AM

Does anyone have the lyrics of this relatively new song? I could try to transcribe it from my recording of BLOOD ON THE ICE but I'm sure I'd be making a lot of mistakes. This fine song was composed by Ron Baxter during the recent bicentenial celebrations of the British naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1808; the tune is by "Albatrosity" according to the CD track notes.

"Common British Tars" pays tribute to the hundreds of British sailors who died at Trafalger and who were not honored in any special way at the time other than being shoveled over the side.

I've tried my usual Mudcat and web searches to no avail.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 01:34 PM

21 October 1805, actually.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 11:52 PM

Many more French and Spanish slaughtered than British.

British losses- 449 dead, 1241 wounded.
French and Spanish losses- 4408 killed, 2545 wounded.
(Lewis, A Social History of the Navy)

Trafalgar


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 05:54 AM

There is a contemporary account of Nelson's funeral which describes how the coffin was booed and spat at by sailors lining the funeral rout who had fought in the Battle of Trafalgar.
They were protesting on behalf of those who died without acknowledgment.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 08:36 AM

Thanks for the correction and the additional information.

It is a fine song. I'm surprised that no one here is familiar with it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 11:42 AM

Charley, despite writing Common British Tar I can't find the words! Sorry! however Dave Hill of Albatrossity may be able to help [they put the tune to it and recorded it ]. Web site is www. albatrossity.co.uk


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Subject: ADD: Common British Tars (Ron Baxter)
From: GUEST,Dave Hill
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 03:54 PM

Common British Tars
(Ron Baxter)

Let's hear it for Lord Nelson
That hero of the sea
Who 'gainst the French & Spaniards
Gained this glorious victory -
But what about those others
The common British tars
Who fought and died for Nelson
In the fight at Trafalgar?

Bold Nelson died in glory
But so did all those men
Whose blood it mingled with his
They were with him till the end.
One admiral but hundreds
Of common British tars
Their gore was scattered 'cross the decks
In the fight at Trafalgar.

His body then they brought home
To be buried in St Paul's
With sorrow and with reverence
Muffled drums and all.
Thrown overboard like offal
Those common British tars
Who fell as Nelson triumphed
In the fight at Trafalgar.

So let us praise Lord Nelson
For the battle that was won
But don't forget those others
those brothers, husbands, sons.
Remember don't forget them
The common British tars
Not one prayer was said for those
Who fell at Trafalgar
Remember don't forget them
The common British tars
So let us say a prayer for those
Who fell at Trafalgar.

Words: Ron Baxter
Music & Arrangement: Albatrossity
Premiered at the BiCentennial Trafalgar Night concert for Whitehaven Sea Cadets, Civic Hall, Whitehaven, Cumbria 21/10/2005


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 07:33 PM

The victory may have secured British dominance on the seas, but whether this dominance served a purpose to humanity is doubtful.
Thousands of Spanish and French tars lost, they should be noted as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 07:59 PM

Thanks so much Ron and Dave!

It's a fine song and if people would only purchase BLOOD ON THE ICE from Chantey Cabin, they might hear it sung as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 04:01 AM

With ref: Q's statement about the French & Spanish dead at Trafalgar. Any war is an abomination, however, Britain was, as it was in 1940 against Hitler, fighting for its very existance. Napolean ruled Europe and had an army waiting to invade England. If the Franco/Spanish fleet had gained control of the seas, and swept up the Channel, the far more professional French army would have conquored.
So should we have hoisted the white flag, and let the megalamanic rule us?


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 08:55 AM

Sailor Ron,
Isn't this the argument used by all sides to justify all wars (and is now being used to justify imprisonment without trail and torture)?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 09:34 AM

Jim and Q-

It's certainly true that winners get to define what a "just war" is. But other folks can make value judgments as well, and Napoleon is certainly not one of my favorites. And "total war" or even "proxy war" is an abomination.

The Bush Administration critique of the Russian intervention into Georgia (in response to Georgia's attempt to regain control of her breakaway provinces) while correct appears hypocritical given recent U.S. invasions of Iraq, Panama, and Grenada.

And as the song says (least we neglect to read its lyrics):

So let us praise Lord Nelson
For the battle that was won
But don't forget those others
those brothers, husbands, sons.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 12:38 PM

Charlie,
Napoleon wouldn't be top of my list either; but the Napoleonic wars were no different to any other imperialist war; it was those who made the greatest sacrifice who had the least to gain. As the song says
"And we have bigger tyrants with Boneys of our own".
There were as many songs expressing if not support, at least an ambivalence towards Napoleon, and most of the songs in support of Nelson remained on the printed page and never made it to the tradition.
A large number of ordinary seamen who fought at Trafalgar were impressed men; they returned to the enclosures, the poaching wars, transportation and Peterloo, just as those who returned from the trenches were met with the Great Depression.
For me, the people in Ireland who said "neither English nor Irish landlord" had the right idea.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: GUEST,JeffB
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 01:33 PM

I hadn't heard of British sailors spitting in disgust at Nelson's funeral. But I have heard that the gun carriage bearing his coffin was pulled by a party of sailors, and that the crowd shouted "We would rather see you here than all these fine gentleman", or words to that effect. And there is a story as well that when the coffin was lowered, the sailors took the Union flag which had covered it and tore it into peices, so each would have a treasured momento of Nelson.

Whether Trafalgar saved England from invasion is another question. A French army might well have landed without opposition, but with our knowledge nowadays of the difficulties of getting a force ashore and of supplying it I feel Boney would have been soundly beaten.

I have to agree with Q - those French and Spanish sailors deserve respect and sympathy as well.


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 02:51 PM

I certainly agree that "those French and Spanish sailors deserve respect and sympathy as well" as they were hardly volunteers either. But the song, I believe, is focused on extending sympathy beyond Admiral Nelson to his sailors. I would like to see it paired with "The Seamen's Hymn" by A. L. Lloyd which I find similar in sentiment. Anyone want to continue the fight? ;~)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: GUEST,JeffB
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 05:31 PM

Any chance of seeing that Charley?


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 08:07 PM

JeffB-

Sure, assuming you are asking for the lyrics of "The Seamen's Hymn" (copy and paste into OWRD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):

By A. L. Lloyd © circa 1955
Written to commemorate the death of Admiral Nelson
at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805
After the singing of Louis Killen
Tune: Prospect

The Seamen's Hymn


D-------------------A-------------D-------------Bm
Come all ye bold seamen, wher-ever you're bound,
-------D--------A------------------D---------A---D
And always let Nelson's proud memory go 'round;
--------------------------------------Bm
And pray that the wars and the tumult may cease,
---------D----------A----------D----------A---D
For the greatest of gifts is a sweet last-ing peace;
----------------------------------------Bm
May the Lord put an end to these cruel, old wars,
-------------D--------------A-------------D------A7---D
And bring peace and con-tentment to all our brave tars.


Notes by John Roberts:

"Lloyd wrote the words for a Trafalgar Day radio program (1955? that would have been the 150th anniversary). I believe he claimed he set it to a Welsh hymn tune but I don't know of anyone who's turned up the original. Lloyd being the way he was, even if you did find the original it would be quite different from what he came up with. Louis sang it to the Clearwater crew and it went on from there. That's all I know."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 08:52 PM

Pete Seeger has created variants of Seaman's Hymn for the Hudson, the Baltic and other bodies of water.
viz,

Old Father Hudson
Come all you bold sailors, wherever you be
And tell Old Father Hudson that we'll set him free!
Let the Power oF THe PEOPLE be heard on each shore
And bring Old Father Hudson cle-ar water o-once more!


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 09:23 AM

refresh for Trafalgar Day


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 08:28 PM

"Bigger tyrants" recalls Chesterton's "Rolling English Road":

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire,
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made....

Do you suppose *that* has ever been set to a tune?


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 09:12 AM

JoeF-

Very nice verse!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 12:22 PM


There is a contemporary account of Nelson's funeral which describes how the coffin was booed and spat at by sailors lining the funeral rout who had fought in the Battle of Trafalgar.


Any more info on this? Seems strange that they could have got there, unless they were on the ship that brought Nelson's body back.


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM

Had a google. The funeral was not till January, and the Victory had arrived back in December. Still, all accounts I can find suggest his men were deeply upset. His coffin was carried in by men of the 'Victory ( apparently, his own men had been ignored, but such was the uproar that they were included).

I found this contemporary account.

One of Nelson's sailors wrote home after the battle: "I never set eyes on him, for
which I am both sorry and glad. For to be sure I should like to have seen him but
then all the men in our ship who have seen him are such soft toads they have done
nothing but blast their eyes and cry ever since he was killed. God bless you! Chaps
that fought like the devil sit down and cry like a wench."


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 02:21 PM

"There is a contemporary account of Nelson's funeral which describes how the coffin was booed and spat at by sailors lining the funeral rout who had fought in the Battle of Trafalgar."


Probably wishful thinking on the part of those who like to think that the downtrodden English sailor finally stood up for himself and gave His Lordship what for.

Most historians seem to agree that (by comparison) Nelson was one of the more respected naval officers, if only for the fact that his concern about the well-being of his men was based on the fact that a healthy crew was an effective crew.

It's also doubtful that many sailors who had been at Trafalgar would have been ashore for his funeral. Few were genuine volunteers and consequently they had a tendency to bugger off when they had the chance.

"Oh dear - another session of corpse kicking I fear."

Aarrh, Jim lad.


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 08:03 PM

Charlie Noble et al.: Since you liked that stanza, you might want to read that whole magical poem at http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/rolling.html.


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 08:17 PM

Thanks, Joe!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Common British Tars (Trafalgar)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 03:02 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Common British Tars (Ron Baxter)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 08:03 AM

refresh!

I believe there was a funeral service for those "common British Tars" who died of their wounds after the battle and were buried at Gibraltar. I'm unaware of any similar funeral service held in England to honor them as well. Any historical references?

Charley Noble


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