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Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad

DigiTrad:
BOLD BENJAMIN


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: The Bold Benjamin (18)
(origins) Origins: Bold Benjamin-O (5)
Tune add: Bold Benjamin (1)


GUEST,Roll&Go-C 08 Feb 01 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 08 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM
MMario 08 Feb 01 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 08 Feb 01 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 08 Feb 01 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 08 Feb 01 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 08 Feb 01 - 05:58 PM
radriano 08 Feb 01 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 08 Feb 01 - 06:31 PM
radriano 08 Feb 01 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-c 08 Feb 01 - 07:53 PM
radriano 09 Feb 01 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 09 Feb 01 - 03:43 PM
radriano 09 Feb 01 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 09 Feb 01 - 05:31 PM
Artful Codger 24 Apr 11 - 03:16 AM
Charley Noble 24 Apr 11 - 10:07 AM
Artful Codger 24 Apr 11 - 04:53 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOLD BENJAMIN
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 03:20 PM

There is a version in the database similar to what our sea shanty group sings, learned from the singing of Sarah Gray and Friends of Fiddlers' Green. Here's what we sing:

THE BOLD BENJAMIN
  D                    G    D    G D
Now, Admiral Cole has gone to sea,
A D A
Oh, me boys, ohh!
D G D G D
Now, Admiral Cole has gone to sea-o!
G D G D A
Brave Admiral Cole has gone to sea
D G D A D A
With all our good ship's company,
D G D G D G D A/D
On board the Bold Ben-ja-min, ohh!

We set sail for France and Spain,
Oh, me boys, ohh!
We set sail for France and Spain-o!
We set sail for France and Spain,
Our gold and silver to regain,
On board the Bold Benjamin, oh!

We set sail five hundred men,
Oh, me boys, ohh!
We set sail five hundred men-o!
We set sail five hundred men,
And we've come back but fifty-one,
They was lost on Bold Benjamin, oh!

And as we drew near Blackwall,
Oh, me boys, ohh!
And as we drew near Blackwall-o!
And as we drew near Blackwall,
Admiral Cole, loud did call:
"Here comes the Bold Benjamin, oh!"

Hear the mothers weeping for their sons,
Oh,me boys, ohh!
Hear the mothers weeping for their sons-o!
Hear the mothers weeping for their sons,
And the widows for their husbands,
They was lost on Bold Benjamin, oh!

What I've misplaced are the early broadside versions of the song which can be found in the reprint of Real Sailor's Songs and in, I believe, The Oxford Book of Sea Songs. Could someone copy those for me?

HTML preformat commands added. --JoeClone, 13-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM

The 17th century broadside is "The Benjamin's Lamentation", ZN464 in the broadside ballad index on my website (See also ZN465). A 17th century copy can be found on the Bodley Ballads website (Don collection).

A traditional version is in 'The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs', and is probably to be found in this Forum with others from the book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: MMario
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 04:20 PM

a discussion of the song is here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 04:37 PM

What efficiency! Thanks! It's a great song to sing. We've wondered about when the storm verses got dropped in the folk processing, but we really do prefer the mystery in the current versions.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 04:44 PM

I will note that folk processing slaughter is still going on with this song – the survivors are now down to 51!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 05:43 PM

Bruce-O

I just checked the Benjamin entries at the Bodleian Library Site and find that there is no way that I can print them with any clarity. I'd rather not try to reinterpret the smudges I see on my schreen or after I blow them up and print them. What is your website address or has someone else a readible and accurate set of lyrics? I should not have lent out my only copy from Real Sailor Songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 05:58 PM

My broadside ballad index at www.erols.com/olsonw does't give the verses. It lists the known early copies and 3 books that have reprinted the text from some one of them.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE POOR BENJAMIN, O
From: radriano
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 06:08 PM

The broadside is quite smudged and there's quite a few unreadable words but perhaps this will be helpful to you. There is no entirely readable version that I know of.


THE POOR BENJAMIN, O
Bodleian Library

Captain Chilver's gone to sea
Ay boys, O boys
With all his company, ay
Captain Chilver's gone to sea
With all his company
In the brave Benjamin, O

Thirty guns the ship did bear
Ay boys, O boys
They were bound for Venice fair, ay
Thirty guns the ship did bear
And a hundred men so dear
In the brave Benjamin, O

But by ill storms at sea
Ay boys, O boys
Which [caused our misery], ay
But by ill storms at sea
We were [thrown] out on the main
In the brave Benjamin, O

We had more wind [ ]
Ay boys, O boys
Our ship it would not [steer]
We had more wind [ ]
Our [ ] and [hails] [ ]
In the poor Benjamin, O

The [first] harm that we had
Ay boys, O boys
I makes my heart so sad, ay
The [first] harm that we had
We lost our fore-mast-head
O the poor Benjamin, O

The seas aloud did roar
Ay boys, O boys
We being far from shore, ay
The seas no labour [ ]
Unto friends nor foes
O the poor Benjamin, O

The next harm that we [ ]
Ay boys, O boys
Then we to heaven cried, ay
Down fell our main-masthead
Which [ ]
In the poor Benjamin, O

Thus we with seas were [ ]
Ay boys, O boys
[ ]
Thus we with seas were [ ]
[ ]
In the brave Benjamin, O

The next harm that we had
Ay boys, O boys
Which made us to be sad, ay
The next harm that we had
We lost four men from the deck
In the poor Benjamin, O

[Disabled] as I name
Ay boys, O boys
We were thrown on the main, ay
So the next harm we had
We lost one our rudder's head
On the poor Benjamin, O

Then we fell all to prayer
Ay boys, O boys
The Lord our lives would spare, ay
Then we fell all to prayer
And he at last did hear
Us in the Benjamin, O

Although we sailed in fear
Ay boys, O boys
The Lord our ship did steer, ay
Our prayers so fervent were
That we had passage clear
Into brave Plymouth Sound, O

When we came in Plymouth Sound
Ay boys, O boys
Our hearts did then resound, ay
When we came in Plymouth Sound
Our grief with joy was crowned
In the poor Benjamin, O

When we came all on shore
Ay boys, O boys
[ ]
When we came all on shore
Our grief we did deplore
In the brave Benjamin, O

You gallant young men all
Ay boys, O boys
'Tis unto you I call, ay
Likewise brave seamen all
Lament the loss and fall
Of the poor Benjamin, O

Come my noble hearts of gold
Ay boys, O boys
That on Neptune's waves [have rolled], ay
Come my noble hearts of gold
Your ancient courage bold
Like the brave Benjamin, oh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 06:31 PM

Thanks, Radriano.

The recent (1985?) reprint of John Ashton's Real Sailors' Songs did have a more complete (or fudged) version but that's the book I borrowed from someone else and then was foolish enough to lend to some one else and who knows who is enjoying it now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: radriano
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 07:38 PM

You're welcome, Roll&Go-C. You know, I don't remember the ballad being in the Oxford book but I'll check my copy tonight.

The Bold Benjamin is a great song and I'm surprised it's not more popular. I've adapted two verses from the longer ballad to make the traditional version a bit longer because I enjoy singing it so much. I'm planning on including the song on my forthcoming CD of sea shanties and sea songs (shameless plug).

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-c
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 07:53 PM

Yes,Richard, it's a great song and I've also thought about including a couple of early verses about the storm.

Understand you know Dick Swain and Nancy Matilla.
We had a delightful evening last summer at a local restaurant here in Maine, trading treasured old song acquisitions.

Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: radriano
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 02:33 PM

You may have me confused with someone else, Roll&Go-C. Don't know Dick Swain & Nancy Matilla.

I'm in San Francisco.

Regards,
Richard Adrianowicz


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BENJAMINS' LAMENTATIONS
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 03:43 PM

Richard, I must have got lost in the threads with regard to Dick and Nancy. However, I finally found my photocopy of one earlier version I've been looking for and you may find it interesting for filling in the blanks.

Photocopy from unknown songbook, pp. 44-46

THE BENJAMINS' LAMENTATIONS
for their sad loss at Sea, by Storms and Tempests

Captain Chilver's gone to sea,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
With all his company, hey,
Captain Chilver's gone to sea
With all his company
In the brave Benjamin, O.

Thirty guns this ship did bear,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
They were bound for Venice fair, hey,
Thirty guns this ship did bear
And a hundred men so clear
In the brave Benjamin, O.

But by ill storms at sea,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
Which bred our misery, hey,
But by ill storms at sea
Were drove o' of th' way
In the brave Benjamin, O.

We had more wind than we could bear,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
Our ship it would not steer, hey,
We had more wind than we could bear,
Our masts and sails did tear
In the poor Benjamin, O.

The first harm that we had,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
I makes my heart so sad, hey,
The first harm that we had
We lost our fore-mast-head
O the poor Benjamin, O.

The seas aloud did roar,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
We being far from shore, hey,
The seas no favour shows
Unto friends nor foes
O the poor Benjamin, O.

The next harm that we spied,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
Then we to heaven cried, hey,
Down fell our main-mast head
Which struck our senses dead
In the poor Benjamin, O.

Then we with seas were crossed,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
And on the ocean tossed, hey,
Then we with seas were tossed,
Many a brave man was lost
In the brave Benjamin, O.

The next harm that we had,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
We had cause to be sad, hey,
The next harm that we had
We lost four men from the yard
In the poor Benjamin, O.

Disabled as I name,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
We were drove on the main, hey,
So the next harm we had
We lost our rudder's head
In the poor Benjamin, O.

Then we all fell to prayer,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
The Lord our lives would spare, hey,
Then we fell all to prayer
And at last he did hear
Us in the Benjamin, O.

Although we sailed in fear,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
The Lord our ship did steer, hey,
Our prayers so fervent were
That we had passage clear
Into brave Plymouth Sound, O.

When we came in Plymouth Sound,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
Our hearts did then resound, hey,
When we came in Plymouth Sound
Our grief with joy was crowned
In the poor Benjamin, O.

When we came all on shore,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
Every man at his door, hey,
When we came all on shore
Our grief we did deplore
In the brave Benjamin, O.

You gallant young men all,
Hey, boys, O, boys,
'Tis unto you I call, hey,
Likewise brave seamen all
Lament the loss and fall
Of the poor Benjamin, O

(Note: your last verse not included)

Come my noble hearts of gold,
Ay boys, O boys
That on Neptune's waves [have rolled], ay
Come my noble hearts of gold
Your ancient courage bold
Like the brave Benjamin, oh.

In the editor's note he mentions that H.E.D. Hammond collected a version from a singer in Dorset in 1907, which is probably the base for what we are singing now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: radriano
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 04:33 PM

Bless your sweet little sticky heart, Roll&Go-C!

Thanks for taking the time to post those lyrics - much appreciated.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 05:31 PM

JoeClone. Thanks for the fix!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: Artful Codger
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 03:16 AM

The HED Hammond version can be found at the EFDSS Take Six site. Actually, there are (at least) two versions there, the one Hammond collected from Joseph Taunton of Carscombe, Dorset (HAM/5/34/17), which is beyond question the version most widely known and sung now, and another from Mrs. Marina Russell, Upway, Dorset (HAM/5/36/2). The latter has a somewhat different but clearly related tune, but consists of only two verses, rather corrupted ("Friend Admiral he is gone to sea...On board the bold "Benjuns" you know. Her survival count was only twenty-five.

In addition, there is a verse (HAM/5/34/17A, on a page facing the Taunton text) collected from "an old man living near Carscombe" which begins "Oh! the wind did blow West, North & East".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 10:07 AM

Art-

Thanks for the update.

"Roll & Go-C" was my guest name when I first was exploring the resources of Mudcat.

I do need to record this song, since it seems to persist in my brain. It goes along nicely accompanied by concertina. Always loved the melody.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Benjamin Sea Ballad
From: Artful Codger
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 04:53 PM

As it happens, I first heard it sung by Graham Pirt, accompanied by Alistair Anderson on concertina, on Anderson's album Concertina Workshop. There it was titled "Admiral Cole".


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