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DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight

DigiTrad:
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE (Eighty-eight)


Joe Offer 30 Oct 17 - 10:59 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 17 - 11:26 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 17 - 11:53 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 17 - 11:59 PM
Joe Offer 31 Oct 17 - 12:55 AM
Reinhard 31 Oct 17 - 02:57 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Oct 17 - 03:19 AM
doc.tom 31 Oct 17 - 01:35 PM
Joe Offer 31 Oct 17 - 02:08 PM
RTim 31 Oct 17 - 02:24 PM
Gurney 31 Oct 17 - 08:59 PM
doc.tom 01 Nov 17 - 04:23 AM
EBarnacle 03 Nov 17 - 08:26 PM
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Subject: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 10:59 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


I received a question about this song, and it seemed a good opportunity to look into its origins. Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics:

SIR FRANCIS DRAKE (Eighty-eight)

In eighty-eight, ere I was born,
As I can well remember,
In August was a fleet prepared,
The month before September.

Spain, with Biscayne, Portugal,
Toledo and Granado,
All these did meet and make a fleet,
And called it the Armado.

Where they had got provision,
As mustard, peas and bacon,
Some say two ships were full of whips,
But I think they were mistaken.

There was a little man of Spain
That shot well in a gun, a,
Don Pedro hight, as good a knight
As the Knight of the Sun, a.

King Philip made him admiral
And charg'd him to stay, a
But to destroy both man and boy
And then to run away, a.

The King of Spain did fret amain,
And to do yet more harm, a
He sent along, to make him strong,
The famous Prince of Parma.

When they had sailed along the seas
And anchored upon Dover,
Our Englishmen did board them then
And cast the Spaniards over.

Our queen was then at Tilbury,
What could you more desire, a?
For whose sweet sake Sir Francis Drake
Did set them all on fire, a.

But let them look about themselves,
For if they come again, a,
They shall be served with that same sauce
As they were, I know when, a.

Roy Palmer's note and glosses
The ballad looks back at the armada, possibly from the time of James 1. Some
of the details have become blurred, though the picture of victory remains clear
enough.

August: the main fighting was in fact over by the end of July.
Biscayne: Vizcava, one of the Basque provinces
full of whips: a widely-held belief. Cf. Deloney's 'New Ballet of the straunge and most cruel Whippes which the Spanyards had prepared to whippe and torment English men and women'.
Don Pedro: the Spanish commander-in-chief was in fact Don Alonso Perez, Duke of Medina Sidonia.
hight: called
Knight of the Sun: hero of a Spanish romance, The Mirrour of Princely Deedes and Knighthood, which was widely known in England through translations.
amain: with all his might
Parma: the Duke of Parma's fleet was to have joined the armada from the Netherlands, but failed to do so.
Tilbury: Queen Elizabeth delivered a rousing triumphal speech there in August 1588. She was mounted on a white horse, thus giving rise, it is said, to the nursery rhyme,'Ride a cock horse'.

@sailor @battle
filename[ FRDRAKE
JM
oct00



The DT Lyrics are from Roy Palmer's Oxford Book of Sea Songs (Oxford University Press, 1986 - #7, page 11). I didn't find any mistakes in the DT lyrics - it's a good transcription. Palmer says his text is from Halliwell, but I didn't find a more detailed source explanation in Palmer. Google tells me it's on Page 18 of The Early Naval Battles of England by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, published in 1841 by the Percy Society.
The song is Roud Number V18747 and currently has 7 entries, including Palmer, Pills to Purge Melancholy and Chappell. There is no listing for this song in the Traditional Ballad Index.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 11:26 PM

Here are a couple of YouTube recordings. They may not play in the UK.

Recording by The New York Waits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqq23GMzZe4

Benjamin Luxon recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv7hPDGk5bI

Mainly Norfolk says a Cyril Tawney recording is on his Mayflower Garland album, which I didn't find on YouTube.


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Subject: ADD Version:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 11:53 PM

This is the version Palmer got from Halliwell. It's the same as what's in Palmer, but with old-style spelling. Google tells me it's on Page 18 of The Early Naval Battles of England by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps,
published in 1841 by the Percy Society.


SIR FRANCIS DRAKE: OR, EIGHTY-EIGHT.
[From MS. Harl. 791, fol. 59.]

IN eyghtye-eyght, ere I was borne,
As I can well remember,
In August was a fleete prepar'd,
The moneth before September.

Spayne, with Biscayne, Portugall,
Toledo and Granado,
All these did meete, and made a fleete,
And call'd it the Armado.

Where they had gott provision,
As mustard, pease, and bacon,
Some say two shipps were full of whipps,
But I thinke they were mistaken.

There was a litle man of Spaine,
That shott well in a gunn-a,
Don Pedro hight, as good a knight
As the Knight of the Sun-a.

King Phillip made him Admirall,
And charged him not to stay-a,
But to destroy both man and boy,
And then to runn away-a.

The King of Spayne did freet amayne,
And to doe yet more harme-a,
He sent along, to make him strong,
The famous prince of Parma.

When they had sayl'd along the seas,
And anchor'd uppon Dover,
Our Englishmen did bourd them then,
And cast the Spaniards over.

Our Queene was then att Tilbury,
What could you more desire-a?
For whose sweete sake, Sir Francis Drake
Did sett them all on fyre-a.

But let them looke about themselfes,
For if they come againe-a,
They shall be serv'd with that same sauce,
As they weere, I know when-a.


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Subject: ADD Version: Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 11:59 PM

Google has a second version, on Page 20 of The Early Naval Battles of England by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps,

published in 1841 by the Percy Society.




SIR FRANCIS DRAKE: OR, EIGHTY-EIGHT.
THE following is another version of the foregoing ballad, and is
taken from ?Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy,? vol.
ii. p. 37. The tune is also given by D'Urfey. Another copy is
given in the ? Westminster Drollery,? l2mo. Lond. 167i.
To the tune of Eighty-eight.

SOME years of late, in Eighty eight,
As I do well remember-a,
It was, some say, on the ninth of May,
And some say in September-a.

The Spanish train launch'd forth a-main,
With many a fine bravado,
Whereas they thought, but it prov'd nought,
The Invincible Armado.

There was a little man that dwelt in Spain,
That shot well in a gun-a,
Don Pedro hight, as black a wight,
As the Knight of the Sun-a.

King Philip made him Admiral,
And bad him not to stay-a,
But to destroy both man and boy,
And so to come away-a.

The Queen was then at Tilbury,
What could we more desire-a?
Sir Francis Drake, for her sweet sake,
Did set 'em all on fire-a.

Away they ran by sea and land,
So that one man slew three score-a,
And had not they all run away,
O my soul, we had killed more-a.

Then let them neither brag nor boast,
For if they come again-a,
Let them take heed they do not speed,
As they did they know when-a.


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Subject: ADD Version: Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 12:55 AM

Yet another version, from The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 182, 1847 (Page 156)

UPON THE SPANISH INVASION IN EIGHTY-EIGHT.

In eighty-eight, ere I was born,
As I do well remember a,
In August was a fleet prepared,
The month before September a.

Lisbone, Cales, and Portegall,
Toledo, and Granada,
They all did meet, and made a fleet,
And called it their Armada.

There dwelt a little man in Spain,
That shot well in a gun a,
Don Pedro hight, as black a wight
As the Knight of the Sun a.

King Philip made him admirall,
And charged him not to stay a,
But to destroy both man and boy,
And then to come his way a.

He had thirty thousand of his own,
But, to do us more harm a,
He charged him not to fight alone,
But to joyn with the Prince of Parma.

They say they brought provisions much,
As biskets, beans, and bacon,
Besides two ships were laden with whips?
But I think they were mistaken.

When they had sailed all along,
And anchored before Dover;
The Englishmen did board them then,
And heavd the rascalls over.

The queen she was at Tilbury,
What could you more desire a?
For whose sweet sake Sir Francis Drake
Did set the ships on fire a.

Then let them neither brag nor boast,
For, if they come again a,
Let them take heed they do not speed
As they did they know when a.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Reinhard
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 02:57 AM

Tom and Barbara Brown sing Sir Francis Drake on their CD "Prevailing Winds" (WildGoose, 2002):

In eighty-eight, ere I was born,
Or I can well remember,
In August was a fleet prepared,
A hundred ships in number.

Proud Spain, with Biscayne, Portugal,
Toledo and Granado,
All these did meet and made one fleet,
And called it the Armado.

Their men were young, munitions strong
To do to us more harm, a,
They thought it mete to join their fleet
All with the Prince of Parma.

Their navy was well victualled
With bully beef and bacon,
Some say two ships were full of whips,
But I think they were mistaken.

They sailed round about our shores
And so came into Dover,
Our English lads did board them there
And threw the rascals over.

The Queen was then at Tilbury,
What more could we desire, a?
So Francis Drake, for her sweet sake,
He set them all on fire, a.

So let them look unto themselves
If they should come again, a,
They shall be serv'd as they were then
Ere ever I was born, a.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:19 AM

There's a nice version of this on the Critics Group sea album, 'As We Were A-sailing' by John Faulkner and Terry Yarnell (on the way shortly Joe)
Drake apears in several sea songs, particularly the Golden Vanity - a bit of a bastard, by all accounts
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: doc.tom
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 01:35 PM

Indeed we do, Reinhard - thank you for knowing that. Our set came from The Oxford Song Book, vol.2 (1931) where it is credited as taken from the Fitzwilliam Viginal Book c.1612. And we got the tune slightly wrong!


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 02:08 PM

The Early Naval Battles of England by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (1841) has lots of songs about Drake. Drake is an important figure here in Northern California, because he explored much of our coast in 1577-1580 Golden Hind voyage. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard cuts the Marin County peninsula in two, from San Pablo Bay to Point Reyes National Seashore. Some of my favorite territory.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: RTim
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 02:24 PM

I agree with Jim Carroll the version by The Critics, with John Faulkner and Terry Yarnell singing - is excellent - It was the first time I heard this song when I bought the LP, some B***dy long years ago, and have often thought about singing it - maybe the time has come....

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: Gurney
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 08:59 PM

I understand, and stand to be corrected, that the Armada was pounded by superior gunnery and driven off by fireships, and did in fact 'sail up the coast' and around the top of Scotland, and down the west coast of Ireland, where damaged ships were cast ashore by gales. The surviving Spanish seamen married there, and are the ancestors of what are called the 'black' Irish. From their hair colour, I hasten to add.
This is a memory of a statement heard from Cyril T. 50years ago, and as I said, I stand to be corrected.

Cyril's singing of the song was obviously from a source mentioned here, and included the device of adding an "-a" to the end of a line to help the rhyme.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: doc.tom
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 04:23 AM

Mostly right, Gurney, but the weather played a huge part in the disintegration of the Spanish fleet. Some surviving Spanish seamen may have married - but a lot got slaughtered on the Irish shore!


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Subject: RE: DTStudy:Sir Francis Drake / Eighty-Eight
From: EBarnacle
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 08:26 PM

According to a couple of books about the Armada which I have read lately, there were several reasons for its failure to achieve its mission.

One of the primary ones was that Parma, who commanded the land forces which were supposed to be embarked to invade England, made no preparation to do so or response to Philip's and Medina Sidona's communications telling him to prepare to operate in conjunction with the great armada.

The battle(s) between the fleets were relatively minor engagements even though both sides pretty much used up all of their on board ammunition.

The Spanish ships were so unweatherly that, once they anchored they would have been unable to return to England against any sort of resistance, which was why they attempted to return to Spain by the Northern route around the Isles. They could not go anywhere near the wind.

Although this was the most famous armada, Spain sent several more up to 1596.

These armadas were so expensive that they contributed materially to Spain becoming a lesser power, as they essentially bankrupted the treasury.


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