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Origins: The Bold Privateer

DigiTrad:
BOLD PRIVATEER
FIGHTING FOR STRANGERS
OUR CAPTAIN CALLS
OUR CAPTAIN CRIED ALL HANDS
THE BOLD PRIVATEER (2)


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Lyr/Chords Req: Captain cried 'All Hands!' (13)
Lyr Req: Our Captain Cried All Hands (20)
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GUEST,Rory 12 Sep 23 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Rory 12 Sep 23 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Howler 12 Sep 23 - 09:39 PM
Lighter 13 Sep 23 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Howler 15 Sep 23 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Rory 12 Sep 23 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Rory 12 Sep 23 - 07:42 AM
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Subject: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 12 Sep 23 - 07:35 AM

The Bold Privateer

Roud# 1000

Earliest printed version in the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballad Collections:

Harding B12 (140)
Title: George and Nancy's Parting. A New Song
Printer/Publisher: Burbage and Stretton (Nottingham)
Date: between 1797 and 1807

George and Nancy's Parting. A New Song


Our anchor's a tript, and our ship's under way,
Therefore my dear Nancy, there's no time to delay;
Our boat she lies waiting, so farewell my dear,
For I am going on board of a bold man of war.

SHE
O George, my Jewel, I would have you forbear,
Don't leave your dear Nancy in grief and despair;
My heart it doth ach, and I tremble for fear,
Lest you should be slain in a bold man of war.

HE
Oh! Nancy, dont mourn when I'm far from your sight,
For when I am in battle so boldly I'll fight;
And pull down the pride of the lofty Monsieur,
And soon let them know we are a bold man of war.

SHE
Consider, my Jewel, the hazard you run,
Many lives have been lost since the war first begun;
In bloody engagements when dangers are near,
Shall be my safeguard in a bold man of war.

He
Altho' that in battle great numbers are slain,
I hope for to see my dear Nancy again;
The prayer of my Nancy when dangers are near,
Shall be my safeguard in a bold man of war.

SHE
Oh, why will you go where the cannons loud roar,
For the sake of promotion, for riches, or store;
'Tis better to stay with your true lover here,
Than venture your life in a bold man of war.

HE
You know that your parents are always in strife,
Likewise your brothers do threaten your life;
I hope from your anger I soon shall get clear,
When I am aboard of a bold man of war.

SHE
Oh! Since you are going - that heaven may be,
Your daily protection by land and by sea;
Kind fortune befriend you wherever you steer,
And send you safe home in a bold man of war.

HE
The prizes we capture from France and proud Spain,
My Nancy at home shall have part of the gain;
And when the wars are over I'll return to my dear,
And then bid adieu to a bold man of war.



Later broadside versions in the early 19th century were of four or five verses and the destined ship was a Privateer (privately owned armed ship) instead of a 'man of war' (naval warfare ship). The names of the protagonists instead of being Nancy and George often became Polly and Jemmy/Johnny.
Either these later broadside versions were just reworks of the original Burbage broadside or it is possible that a missing broadside version soon after the Burbage broadside was printed would provide a textual link between the Burbage broadside and later broadside versions.


A Privateer is a privately owned armed vessel commissioned by a belligerent state to attack enemy ships. Privateering was carried on by all nations from the earliest times until the 19th century. Crews were not paid by the commissioning government but were entitled to cruise for their own profit, with crew members receiving portions of the value of any cargo or shipping that they could wrest from the original owners.


Title: The Bold Privateer

Firth c.13(53), Firth c.17(207)
Printer/Publisher: Catnach, J. (London)
Date: between 1813 and 1838

Catnach: The Bold Privateer


Harding B 11(386), Harding B 25(241)
Printer/Publisher: Pitts, J. (London)
Date: between 1819 and 1844

Pitts very similar to Catnach

Harding B 25(240)
Printer/Publisher: Walker, R. (Norwich)
Date: between 1780 and 1830

Walker: Bold Privateer


Catnach: The Bold Privateer

Fare you well my dearest Polly, since you and I must part,
The raging of the seas my dear, I pledge to you my heart;
Our ship she lies a-waiting, So fare thee well, my dear,
For I'm just going on board of a Bold Privateer.

She said my dear Jemmy I hope you will forbear
And do not leave your Polly in grief and despair
You'd better stay at home with the girl you love so dear
Than to venture your sweet life on a Bold Privateer.

You know my dear Polly, your friends they do me slight,
Besides, you have two brothers, would take away my life.
From them I then must wander, myself to get me clear
So I am just going on board of a Bold Privateer.

And when the wars are over, if Heaven spares my life
Then back I will return again to my sweetheart and our wife
And soon I will get married to my charming Polly dear,
And forever bid adieu to the Bold Privateer


Walker: Bold Privateer

Our anchor is a peak my love, our ship is under weigh
Our boats they do lay waiting, I can no longer stay
Our boats they do lay waiting, and I way must steer
To ship myself on board of an English Privateer

Jemmy Oh Jemmy do not tell me so
You fill my heart with sorrow, with sorrow, grief, and woe   
You fill my heart with sorrow, I tremble and I fear
That you should be slain in a bold privateer.

Oh Nancy oh Nancy for me to think upon
How many have been slain since the war first begun
In every engagement as dangers are brought near,
They have lost their sweet lives in a bold privateer.

There are prizes to be taken in proud Spain and France
And Polly that is on the shore will get share of the same
But when I do return will go home unto my dear,
And then I will bid adieu to a bold privateer."


The Privateer
Old English Songs, collected by John Broadwood, 1843, pp.14-15

Our boat is on the drift and the ship is under weigh
So fare thee well my dear, for no longer can I stay
Our ship lies awaiting, so fare thee well my dear
For I must go on board of this bold privateer

There's no one can tell you what great hazards you may run,
So many have been slain since the wars first begun ;
Such bloody engagements and dangers that draw near,
For the loss of their sweet lives in this bold privateer.

Grieve not, my dearest jewel, when I'm far out of sight,
For I must go on board, and so boldly will I fight:
We'll beat down the pride of the lofty Monsieur,
And soon we'll let them know she's the bold Privateer.

Then since you're a-going, may the heavens prove kind to thee
May heaven protect you, by land and by sea;
May heaven protect you wherever you may steer,
And bring you safe back home from this bold Privateer.

The prizes that we've taken are from France and from Spain,
And my true love at home shall have part of them the same
And when the wars are over I'll return to my dear,
And it's then I'll bid adieu to this bold Privateer."


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 12 Sep 23 - 07:42 AM

Recording

Title: The Bold Privateer
Artist: Adrienne O'Shea
Album: Threads of Gold (2023)

The Bold Privateer


An Appalachian version


“So fare thee well my Polly dear,
For you and I must part
In the crossing of the seas, my love,
I’ll pledge to thee my heart”

“Our ship she lies awaiting,
So fare thee well my dear
For now I’m bound to climb aboard
This poor old privateer”

She says, “My dearest Johnny,
I hope you do forebear
And do not leave your Polly
In grief and in despair”

“You know my dearest Polly,
Your friends they do me slight
And besides you have two brothers
Who’ll take away my life”

“From then to there I’ll wander
Myself to get me clear
But for now I’m bound to climb aboard
This poor old privateer”

“And when the wars are over
If God should spare our lives
It is then we will come back again
To our sweethearts and our brides”

“And then I will be married
To me bonny Polly dear
And evermore I’ll bid adieu
To the Bold Privateer”


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Howler
Date: 12 Sep 23 - 09:39 PM

Sometime in the early 1840s the Rev. John Broadwood (1798 - 1864) of Lyne in Surrey (near Chertsey) asked an organist, Mr George Dusart of Worthing, to write arrangements for 16 songs he had learned by ear from country folk during his childhood in Sussex. On their anonymous publication in 1843 as "Old English Songs" they became the first collection of English traditional folk songs to appear in print. Among them was "The Privateer".
   A feature of "Old English Songs" was John Broadwood's insistence that the tunes were to be accurately reproduced, as were their words, with just a few minor changes "to render the sense intelligible". According to the music critic Frank Howes, who wrote a preface to the centenary edition of "Old English Songs", Dusart once protested against a flattened seventh in one of the tunes. Broadwood responded "by violent blasts on the flute and replied, 'Musically it may be wrong, but I will have it exactly as my singers sang it'". Broadwood evidently loved the songs; his stated aim in publishing them was "to rescue them from oblivion and to afford a specimen of genuine Old English Melody".
   Howes found that the tunes defied conventional music analysis. "The Privateer" was especially tricky to define, "so queer ... an instance of the Near Eastern scale, in fact, occurring in English folk-song".
   The song dates quite specifically to a time when Britain was at war with both France and Spain, which places it either during the War of the First Coalition of 1796 to 1802, or the Peninsular War of 1804 to 1808.
   The first line of Broadwood's song is rather obscure, but for a boat to be "on the drift" presumably means that it is untied and someone is holding on to the mooring ring to keep it close to the quay. The young man joining the privateer, which is already under way (Broadwood had "under weigh", as in "weighing anchor"), is about to step into the boat taking him aboard.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Sep 23 - 10:37 AM

Thanks for the posts.

Eliza Carthy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xinb861mXTw

Peter Bellamy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIUqKbx1DZY

Alan Rosevear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzzb2tferUY

Rosevear's tune resembles "The Lincolnshire Poacher."


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Howler
Date: 15 Sep 23 - 06:32 AM

I didn't realise there were so many tunes for this song. I couldn't get a link to work, but "Old English Songs" is available to view online at

sussextraditions.org/person/john-broadwood/#&gid=1&pid=6,

and the tune Howes was talking about is discussed on p160.


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Subject: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 12 Sep 23 - 07:35 AM

The Bold Privateer

Roud# 1000

Earliest printed version in the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballad Collections:

Harding B12 (140)
Title: George and Nancy's Parting. A New Song
Printer/Publisher: Burbage and Stretton (Nottingham)
Date: between 1797 and 1807

George and Nancy's Parting. A New Song


Our anchor's a tript, and our ship's under way,
Therefore my dear Nancy, there's no time to delay;
Our boat she lies waiting, so farewell my dear,
For I am going on board of a bold man of war.

SHE
O George, my Jewel, I would have you forbear,
Don't leave your dear Nancy in grief and despair;
My heart it doth ach, and I tremble for fear,
Lest you should be slain in a bold man of war.

HE
Oh! Nancy, dont mourn when I'm far from your sight,
For when I am in battle so boldly I'll fight;
And pull down the pride of the lofty Monsieur,
And soon let them know we are a bold man of war.

SHE
Consider, my Jewel, the hazard you run,
Many lives have been lost since the war first begun;
In bloody engagements when dangers are near,
Shall be my safeguard in a bold man of war.

He
Altho' that in battle great numbers are slain,
I hope for to see my dear Nancy again;
The prayer of my Nancy when dangers are near,
Shall be my safeguard in a bold man of war.

SHE
Oh, why will you go where the cannons loud roar,
For the sake of promotion, for riches, or store;
'Tis better to stay with your true lover here,
Than venture your life in a bold man of war.

HE
You know that your parents are always in strife,
Likewise your brothers do threaten your life;
I hope from your anger I soon shall get clear,
When I am aboard of a bold man of war.

SHE
Oh! Since you are going - that heaven may be,
Your daily protection by land and by sea;
Kind fortune befriend you wherever you steer,
And send you safe home in a bold man of war.

HE
The prizes we capture from France and proud Spain,
My Nancy at home shall have part of the gain;
And when the wars are over I'll return to my dear,
And then bid adieu to a bold man of war.



Later broadside versions in the early 19th century were of four or five verses and the destined ship was a Privateer (privately owned armed ship) instead of a 'man of war' (naval warfare ship). The names of the protagonists instead of being Nancy and George often became Polly and Jemmy/Johnny.
Either these later broadside versions were just reworks of the original Burbage broadside or it is possible that a missing broadside version soon after the Burbage broadside was printed would provide a textual link between the Burbage broadside and later broadside versions.


A Privateer is a privately owned armed vessel commissioned by a belligerent state to attack enemy ships. Privateering was carried on by all nations from the earliest times until the 19th century. Crews were not paid by the commissioning government but were entitled to cruise for their own profit, with crew members receiving portions of the value of any cargo or shipping that they could wrest from the original owners.


Title: The Bold Privateer

Firth c.13(53), Firth c.17(207)
Printer/Publisher: Catnach, J. (London)
Date: between 1813 and 1838

Catnach: The Bold Privateer


Harding B 11(386), Harding B 25(241)
Printer/Publisher: Pitts, J. (London)
Date: between 1819 and 1844

Pitts very similar to Catnach

Harding B 25(240)
Printer/Publisher: Walker, R. (Norwich)
Date: between 1780 and 1830

Walker: Bold Privateer


Catnach: The Bold Privateer

Fare you well my dearest Polly, since you and I must part,
The raging of the seas my dear, I pledge to you my heart;
Our ship she lies a-waiting, So fare thee well, my dear,
For I'm just going on board of a Bold Privateer.

She said my dear Jemmy I hope you will forbear
And do not leave your Polly in grief and despair
You'd better stay at home with the girl you love so dear
Than to venture your sweet life on a Bold Privateer.

You know my dear Polly, your friends they do me slight,
Besides, you have two brothers, would take away my life.
From them I then must wander, myself to get me clear
So I am just going on board of a Bold Privateer.

And when the wars are over, if Heaven spares my life
Then back I will return again to my sweetheart and our wife
And soon I will get married to my charming Polly dear,
And forever bid adieu to the Bold Privateer


Walker: Bold Privateer

Our anchor is a peak my love, our ship is under weigh
Our boats they do lay waiting, I can no longer stay
Our boats they do lay waiting, and I way must steer
To ship myself on board of an English Privateer

Jemmy Oh Jemmy do not tell me so
You fill my heart with sorrow, with sorrow, grief, and woe   
You fill my heart with sorrow, I tremble and I fear
That you should be slain in a bold privateer.

Oh Nancy oh Nancy for me to think upon
How many have been slain since the war first begun
In every engagement as dangers are brought near,
They have lost their sweet lives in a bold privateer.

There are prizes to be taken in proud Spain and France
And Polly that is on the shore will get share of the same
But when I do return will go home unto my dear,
And then I will bid adieu to a bold privateer."


The Privateer
Old English Songs, collected by John Broadwood, 1843, pp.14-15

Our boat is on the drift and the ship is under weigh
So fare thee well my dear, for no longer can I stay
Our ship lies awaiting, so fare thee well my dear
For I must go on board of this bold privateer

There's no one can tell you what great hazards you may run,
So many have been slain since the wars first begun ;
Such bloody engagements and dangers that draw near,
For the loss of their sweet lives in this bold privateer.

Grieve not, my dearest jewel, when I'm far out of sight,
For I must go on board, and so boldly will I fight:
We'll beat down the pride of the lofty Monsieur,
And soon we'll let them know she's the bold Privateer.

Then since you're a-going, may the heavens prove kind to thee
May heaven protect you, by land and by sea;
May heaven protect you wherever you may steer,
And bring you safe back home from this bold Privateer.

The prizes that we've taken are from France and from Spain,
And my true love at home shall have part of them the same
And when the wars are over I'll return to my dear,
And it's then I'll bid adieu to this bold Privateer."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 12 Sep 23 - 07:42 AM

Recording

Title: The Bold Privateer
Artist: Adrienne O'Shea
Album: Threads of Gold (2023)

The Bold Privateer


An Appalachian version


“So fare thee well my Polly dear,
For you and I must part
In the crossing of the seas, my love,
I’ll pledge to thee my heart”

“Our ship she lies awaiting,
So fare thee well my dear
For now I’m bound to climb aboard
This poor old privateer”

She says, “My dearest Johnny,
I hope you do forebear
And do not leave your Polly
In grief and in despair”

“You know my dearest Polly,
Your friends they do me slight
And besides you have two brothers
Who’ll take away my life”

“From then to there I’ll wander
Myself to get me clear
But for now I’m bound to climb aboard
This poor old privateer”

“And when the wars are over
If God should spare our lives
It is then we will come back again
To our sweethearts and our brides”

“And then I will be married
To me bonny Polly dear
And evermore I’ll bid adieu
To the Bold Privateer”


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Howler
Date: 12 Sep 23 - 09:39 PM

Sometime in the early 1840s the Rev. John Broadwood (1798 - 1864) of Lyne in Surrey (near Chertsey) asked an organist, Mr George Dusart of Worthing, to write arrangements for 16 songs he had learned by ear from country folk during his childhood in Sussex. On their anonymous publication in 1843 as "Old English Songs" they became the first collection of English traditional folk songs to appear in print. Among them was "The Privateer".
   A feature of "Old English Songs" was John Broadwood's insistence that the tunes were to be accurately reproduced, as were their words, with just a few minor changes "to render the sense intelligible". According to the music critic Frank Howes, who wrote a preface to the centenary edition of "Old English Songs", Dusart once protested against a flattened seventh in one of the tunes. Broadwood responded "by violent blasts on the flute and replied, 'Musically it may be wrong, but I will have it exactly as my singers sang it'". Broadwood evidently loved the songs; his stated aim in publishing them was "to rescue them from oblivion and to afford a specimen of genuine Old English Melody".
   Howes found that the tunes defied conventional music analysis. "The Privateer" was especially tricky to define, "so queer ... an instance of the Near Eastern scale, in fact, occurring in English folk-song".
   The song dates quite specifically to a time when Britain was at war with both France and Spain, which places it either during the War of the First Coalition of 1796 to 1802, or the Peninsular War of 1804 to 1808.
   The first line of Broadwood's song is rather obscure, but for a boat to be "on the drift" presumably means that it is untied and someone is holding on to the mooring ring to keep it close to the quay. The young man joining the privateer, which is already under way (Broadwood had "under weigh", as in "weighing anchor"), is about to step into the boat taking him aboard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: GUEST,Howler
Date: 15 Sep 23 - 06:32 AM

I didn't realise there were so many tunes for this song. I couldn't get a link to work, but "Old English Songs" is available to view online at

sussextraditions.org/person/john-broadwood/#&gid=1&pid=6,

and the tune Howes was talking about is discussed on p160.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: The Bold Privateer
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Sep 23 - 10:37 AM

Thanks for the posts.

Eliza Carthy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xinb861mXTw

Peter Bellamy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIUqKbx1DZY

Alan Rosevear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzzb2tferUY

Rosevear's tune resembles "The Lincolnshire Poacher."


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