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DTStudy: Captain Ward

DigiTrad:
CAPTAIN WARD
CAPTAIN WARD AND THE RAINBOW


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Captain Ward (from Robin Williamson #287) (4)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Captain Ward (from Flotsam, Jetsam, and Lagan, Captain Ernie Hall, 1965)
Captain Ward (The Jolly Mariner) (Child #287 - from the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection)


Joe Offer 04 Feb 03 - 11:12 PM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 03 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Q 05 Feb 03 - 12:01 AM
Joe Offer 05 Feb 03 - 12:34 AM
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Subject: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 03 - 11:12 PM

I came across this song in a songbook, and found we have a different version in the Digital Tradition. I wonder what we can find out about it.
-Joe Offer-
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.

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CAPTAIN WARD AND THE RAINBOW

Our King built a ship, 'twas a ship of great fame
The Rainbow she was called, and the Rainbow was her name:
He rigged her and fitted her and sent her off to sea,
With five hundred bold mariners to bear her company.

She cruised the blue waves over and sailed on many a lee;
At length a wicked pirate we chanced for to see;
He bore right down upon her, and hailed in the King's name,
We knew it was a pirate ship, a pirate of great fame.

"We've got you now, you cowardly dog, you ugly, lying thief;
What makes you rob and plunder, and keep your King in grief? "
"You lie, you lie," cries Captain Ward, such things can never be,
I've never robbed an English ship, an English ship but three."

Our guns we trained upon her, as everyone might see;
"We'll take you back to England, and hanged you shall be."
"Fire on ! Fire on !" cries Captain Ward, "I value you not a pin,
If you are brass on the outside, I am good steel within!"

They fought from six that morning till six o'clock at night,
And then the gallant Rainbow began to take her flight;
"Go home! Go home!" cries Captain Ward, "and tell your King of me,
If he reigns king upon the land, I'll reign king on the sea."

From Bronson, Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads
Collected from Mrs. H. R. Murphy, Maine, 1928
Note: I find the last line of the third verse irresistible- RG
Child #287
@sailor @pirate @battle
filename[ WRDRNBOW
TUNE FILE: WRDRNBOW
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

CAPTAIN WARD

Come all ye jolly mariners
That love to tak' a dram
I'll tell ye o' a robber
That o'er the seas did come.

He wrote a letter to his king
On the eleventh o' July,
To see if he wad accept o' him
For his jovial company.

"Oh na, oh na," says the king,
"Such things they canna be,
They tell me ye are a robber,
A robber on the sea."

He has built a bonnie ship,
An' sent her to the sea,
Wi' fower an' twenty mariners
To guard his bonnie ship wi'.

They sailed up an' they sailed doon,
Sae stately, blythe, an' free,
Till they spied the king's high Reindeer
Like a leviathan on the sea.

"Why lie ye here, ye tinker,
Ye silly coordly thief?
Why lie ye here, ye tinker,
An' hold oor king in grief?"

They fought from one in the morning
Till it was six at night,
Until the king's high Reindeer
Was forced to tak' her flight.

"Gang hame, gang hame, ye tinkers.
Tell ye your king fae me
Though he reign king upon good dry land,
I will reign king upon the sea."

From Scottish Folksinger, Buchan and Hall
@sailor @pirate @battle @Scots
Child #287
filename[ WRDNBW2
TUNE FILE: WRDNBW2
CLICK TO PLAY
RG



PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.
Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.

Captain Ward and the Rainbow [Child 287]

DESCRIPTION: Captain Ward asks the king to grant him a place to rest. The king will not grant a place to any pirate (though Ward claims never to have attacked an English ship), and commissions the (Rainbow) to deal with Ward. Ward defeats the Rainbow
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1733 (broadside, Bodleian Douce Ballads 1(80b))
KEYWORDS: ship pirate battle royalty
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
c. 1604-c. 1609 - Career of Captain John Ward. A fisherman from Kent, Ward's first notable act was his capture of a royal vessel in 1604.
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,West),Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Mar,Newf) US(MA,MW,NE,SE) Ireland
REFERENCES (22 citations):
Child 287, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (1 text)
Bronson 287, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (11 versions)
Greig #128, p. 2, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow"; Greig #114, p. 3, "Why lie ye here at anchor"; Greig #117, pp. 2-3, "We focht from eight in the mornin'" (1 text plus 2 fragments)
GreigDuncan1 39, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (3 texts, 2 tunes) {A=Bronson's #8, B=#6}
Ranson, pp. 49-50, "Saucy Ward" (1 text)
Butterworth/Dawney, pp. 38-39, "Saucy Ward" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bell-Combined, pp. 167-170, "A Famous Sea-Fight Between Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (1 text)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 347-363, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (2 texts plus a fragment and a version from the Forget-me-not Songster and a possibly-rewritten broadside, 2 tunes, plus extensive notes on British naval policy) {Bronson's #9, #10}
Flanders/Olney, pp. 204-206, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #11}
Flanders/Brown, pp. 242-244, "Captain Ward and the Rain-Bow" (1 text from the Green Mountain Songster)
Flanders-Ancient4, pp. 264-270 "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (2 texts, 1 tune, the first text being the Green Mountain Songster version)
Thompson-Pioneer 8, "Captain Ward" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 83, "Captain Ward" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 840-841, "Captain Ward" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell-FSRA 22, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (1 text)
Leach, pp. 670-673, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (1 text)
Friedman, p. 362, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (1 text)
Logan, pp. 1-10, "Captain Ward" (1 text)
BBI, ZN949, "Gallants you must understand"; ZN2410, "Strike up you lusty Gallants"
DT 287, WRDRNBOW* WRDNBW2*
ADDITIONAL: C. H. Firth, _Publications of the Navy Records Society_ , 1907 (available on Google Books), p. 30, "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" (1 text)
Leslie Shepard, _The Broadside Ballad_, Legacy Books, 1962, 1978, p. 145, "A Famous Sea Fight Between CAPTAIN WARD and the RAINBOW" (reproduction of a broadside page)

ST C287 (Full)
Roud #224
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Douce Ballads 1(80b), "A Famous Sea-Fight Between Captain Ward and the Rainbow" ("Strike up ye lusty gallants)", T. Norris (London), 1711-1732; also Harding B 4(107), "A Famous Sea-Fight Between Captain Ward and the Rainbow"; Harding B 4(108), "A Famous Sea Fight Between Captain Ward and the Rainbow"; Firth c.12(8), "Famous Sea Fight Between Capt. Ward and the Gallant Rainbow"; Harding B 11(831), "Capt. Ward and the Rainbow" ("Come all you English seamen with courage beat your drums"); Firth c.12(6), "Captain Ward"; 2806 c.16(334), Harding B 11(4034), Firth c.12(7), "Ward the Pirate[!]"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Outlaw Murray" [Child 305] (theme)
cf. "Sir Andrew Barton" [Child 167] (theme)
SAME TUNE:
Captain Ward (per broadside Bodleian Douce Ballads 1(80b))
The Wild Rover (per broadside Bodleian Firth c.12(6))
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Jolly Mariner
NOTES: Compare with this broadside for a different ballad on the same subject: Bodleian, Wood 402(39), "The Seamans Song of Captain Ward, the Famous Pyrate of the World, and an English[man] Born" ("Gallants you must understand"), F. Coles (London), 1655-1658; also Douce Ballads 2(199a), Wood 401(79), "The Seamans Song of Captain Ward, the Famous Pyrate of the world and an English Man Born" - BS
Although the "historical" Captain Ward was active during the reign of Britain's King James I, the context sounds more like that in the time of Charles I. The religious and political situation, as well as financial interests, dictated that Charles should have been allied with the Protestants of the Netherlands and Germany against Spain -- but instead Charles implicitly supported Spain while quarreling with the Dutch about herring fishing.
The result was an undeclared war between many of Charles's sailors and Spain. And many of the fighters, like Ward or the later Captain Kidd, thought right was on their side. Indeed, the Earl of Warwick was creating a group of pirates who were carefully trained according to Calvinist principles -- Puritan raiders (Herman, p. 157f.)
This would also explain why the king was trying to crack down: Piracy had gotten completely out of hand in his father's reign. Ritchie, p. 140, writes, "Only the most inept pirates ended their lives on the gallows during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The nadir of English concern and ability to control piracy came during the reign of James I. Taking no special pride in the Royal Navy and abhorring the expenses generated by the fleet, James sold some of his ships and let most of the others rot at the docks. The resulting growth of piracy in and around English waters caused the Dutch to request permission to send their ships into English waters to attack the brigands. Bereft of means to do the jobs, James acquiesed."
Stokesbury, p. 47, notes that the strong navy of Elizabeth was down to 37 ships by 1607, and most of them in poor repair; he attributes this to the corruption of the Treasurer of the Navy, Sir Robert Mansell. As a result, Stokesbury declares on p. 48, "[T]his was the high point of the era of piracy; the Moorish pirates in particular, raiding out of ports on the North African shore, virtually ruled the sea. Thousands of sailors were enslaved, and there was a waste of about seventy English merchant ships a year to pirates. In some cases they were so bold that they even raided along the southern English coasts, seizing peasants, whom they carried off to slave markets. Not since the days of the Norsemen had there been such a scourge at sea."
BarryEckstormSmyth, however, try to relate the whole thing to the politics of James I -- and to the opposition to that king. Of course, Charles I generated even more opposition, and talking about events in his father's reign might make the discussion slightly safer. The drawback is that the historical Captain Ward was dead by then.
DictPirates, p. 360, gives Ward's dates as 1553-1623; he was imprisoned for piracy in England in 1602, impressed in 1603, turned pirate, and took to the Mediterranean. In 1606, he took service with the ruler of Tunis. In 1607, his fleet suffered a series of setbacks. He may have tried to buy a pardon from the King of England, but the idea failed. He turned to Islam and lived more or less happily ever after.
If we accept that Ward was active at the very start of the reign of James I, that gives us still another scenario, which ties in with the death of Elizabeth I and the accession of James I. Elizabeth of course spent much of her reign at war with Spain; famous incidents in this war were the voyage of the Spanish Armada and Drake's circumnavigation of the globe. Semi-official piracy was one of Elizabeth's key weapons against the Spanish; her ships captured Spanish treasure ships and interfered with Spain's attempts to build a stronger navy.
But all wars come to an end. Ritchie, p. 13, notes that peace was made with Spain in 1603, the year James I succeeded to the English throne. And suddenly English privateers who had been attacking the Spanish had to become either unlicensed pirates or join someone else's service. If Ward kept raiding the Spanish after peace was made, that might explain the King's attitude toward him. We know that James I really disliked piracy.
According to Mancall p. 194, "Ward was a particularly dangerous pirate whose exploits proved to be ideal fodder for the peddlars of pamphlets in London. He was a threat no only to those whose ships he attacked, but even to the men on his own vessels. Wine flowed freely on his ship, but rumor had it that if a man killed another while in a drunken state, he was to be lashed to the corpse and both of them thrown overboard. Such claims made Ward into a kind of dark celebrity and the fitting subject of the plot of a play. Newes from Sea, of two notorious Pyrates, publicly performed in London in 1612, told the tale of 'A Christian turn'd Turke.'"
The comment about the captain being king upon the sea does date to the reign of James I -- but, according to Rodger, p. 349 and Herman, p. 144, it was not made by Ward but by one Peter Easton (or Eston). Easton, who took over the pirate fleet of Richard Bishop in 1611, did so much damage that he was offered a pardon in 1612, refused it, saying, "I am, in a way, a king myself." The next year, he was offered a lordship in Spain, which he took.
There is one other source which might perhaps have influenced this song a little, although the names are reversed (that is, the Captain Warde involved is not the pirate but his victim). A Flemish pirate named John Crabbe became famous along the Channel in the early fourteenth century, and his first noteworthy prize was a ship called the Waardebourc captained by John de Warde (McNamee, p. 209). - RBW
Greig #114 (before Greig recognized this as a "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" fragment): "... a ballad about Wallace and the Red Reiver...." The reference is to the 1298 capture of the pirate Richard Longoville, a.k.a. the Red Reiver, by William Wallace (see the Wikipedia article "William Wallace"). - BS
Bibliography
  • DictPirates:Jan Rogozinsky, Pirates, Facts on File, 1995 (reprinted 1997 by Wordsworth as The Wordsworth Dictionary of Pirates; this is the edition I used)
  • Herman: Arthur Herman, To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World, 2004 (I use the 2005 Harper Perennial edition)
  • Mancall: Peter C. Mancall, Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson, Basic Books, 2009
  • McNamee: Colm McNamee, The Wars of the Bruces: Scotland, England and Ireland 1306-1328, Tuckwell, 1997
  • Ritchie: Robert C. Ritchie, Captain Kidd and the War Against the Pirates, Harvard University Press, 1986
  • Rodger: N. A. M. Rodger, The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain 660-1649 (1997; I use the 1999 Norton edition)
  • Stokesbury: James L. Stokesbury, Navy & Empire, Morrow, 1983
Last updated in version 2.8
File: C287

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Subject: ADD Version: Captain Ward
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 03 - 11:26 PM

CAPTAIN WARD

Come, all you gallant seamen bold, all you that march to drum,
Let's go and look for Captain Ward, far on the sea he roams;
He is the biggest robber that ever you did hear,
there's not been such a robber for above this hundred year.

A ship was sailing from the East, and going to the West,
Loaded with silks and satins and velvets of the best,
But meeting there with Captain Ward, it was a bad meeting;
He robbed them of all their wealth, and bid them tell their king.

O then the King provided a ship of noble fame,
She's called the Royal Rainbow if you would know her name,
She was as well provided for as any ship can be
Full thirteen men on board to bear her company.

'Twas eight o'clock in the morning when they began to fight,
And so they did continue there till nine o'clock at night;
"Fight on, fight on," says Captain Ward. "This sport well pleases me;
For if you fight this month or more your master I will be."

O then the gallant Rainbow she fired, she fired in vain,
Till six and thirty of her men all on the deck were slain.
"Go home, go home," says Captain Ward, "and tell your King from me:
If he reigns king on all the land, Ward will reign King on sea."

source: Flotsam, Jetsam, and Lagan (from the 7 Seas, the 5 Great Lakes, and Our Inland Rivers (Captain Ernie Hall, 1965)

Unfortunately, Hall does not cite his sources.



Click to play


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 12:01 AM

There are two versions in the Bodleian Library, Ballads catalogue.
1. The Sea-Fight between Captain Ward and the Rainbow. Printed between 1711 and 1732, by T. Norris, on London Bridge, London. Douce Ballads 1(80b). Twelve verses each of eight short lines. "To the tune of Captain Ward, etc." In MS is added that the tune may be "I wish I was a fair maid as I am a bonny ..."
A Famous SEA-FIGHT BETWEEN Captain WARD and the RAINBOW

Strike up yon lofty gallants with musick and sound of drum,
For we have descryed a Rover upon the sea is come,
His name is Captain Ward, right well it doth appear,
There has not been such a Rover found out this thousand year....


Bodleian Ballads catalogue, Douce Ballads 1 (c80b), between 1711-1732.

Obviously the Bodleian sheet of 1711-1732 is a copy of Child 287A
2. Ward and the Pirates. Firth c12(6). Printed between 1849-1880, The Poets Box, Glasgow. Air- The Wild Rover. The Captain Ward given by Hall may be a condensation of this broadside of ten verses, 4 lines each.


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Subject: ADD Version: Captain Ward and the Rainbow
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 12:34 AM

Say, this is a pretty good story. There is only one version in Child, and it is quite different from the versions posted above:

CAPTAIN WARD AND THE RAINBOW
CHILD 287A

STRIKE up, you lusty gallants, with musick and sound of drum,
For we have descryed a rover, upon the sea is come;
His name is Captain Ward, right well it doth appear,
There has not been such a rover found out this thousand year.

For he hath sent unto our king, the sixth of January,
Desiring that he might come in, with all his company:
`And if your king will let me come till I my tale have told,
I will bestow for my ransome full thirty tun of gold.'

`O nay! O nay!' then said our king, `O nay! this may not be,
To yield to such a rover my self will not agree;
He hath deceivd the French-man, likewise the King of Spain,
And how can he be true to me that hath been false to twain?'

With that our king provided a ship of worthy fame,
Rainbow she is called, if you would know her name;
Now the gallant Rainbow she rowes upon the sea,
Five hundred gallant seamen to bear her company.

The Dutch-man and the Spaniard she made them for to flye,
Also the bonny French-man, as she met him on the sea:
When as this gallant Rainbow did come where Ward did lye,
`Where is the captain of this ship?' this gallant Rainbow did cry.

`O that am I,' says Captain Ward, 'There's no man bids me lye,
And if thou art the king's fair ship, thou art welcome unto me:'
`I'le tell thee what,' says Rainbow, 'our king is in great grief
That thou shouldst lye upon the sea and play the arrant thief,

`And will not let our merchants ships pass as they did before;
Such tydings to our king is come, which grieves his heart full sore.'
With that this gallant Rainbow she shot, out of her pride,
Full fifty gallant brass pieces, charged on every side.

And yet these gallant shooters prevailed not a pin,
Though they were brass on the out-side, brave Ward was steel within;
`Shoot on, shoot on,' says Captain Ward, 'your sport well pleaseth me,
And he that first gives over shall yield unto the sea.

`I never wrongd an English ship, but Turk and King of Spain,
For and the jovial Dutch-man as I met on the main.
If I had known your king but one two years before,
I would have savd brave Essex life, whose death did grieve me sore.

`Go tell the King of England, go tell him thus from me,
If he reign king of all the land, I will reign king at sea.'
With that the gallant Rainbow shot, and shot, and shot in vain,
And left the rover's company, and returnd home again.

`Our royal king of England, your ship's returned again,
For Ward's ship is so strong it never will be tane:'
`O everlasting!' says our king, `I have lost jewels three,
Which would have gone unto the seas and brought proud Ward to me.

`The first was Lord Clifford, Earl of Cumberland;
The second was the lord Mountjoy, as you shall understand;
The third was brave Essex, from field would never flee;
Which would a gone unto the seas and brought proud Ward to me.'

"The Famous Sea-fight between Captain Ward and the Rainbow." to the tune of Captain Ward, etc. Licensed and entered.
London, Printed by and for W. Onley, and are to be sold by the Booksellers of Pye-corner and London-bridge.
Dated at the the British Museum 1680 at the earliest.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 12:50 AM

Actually, Q, I think you're well aware it's the other way around. 287A is a copy of the Bodleian sheet. We usually just cite Child as Child - but all of Child comes from other printed sources. When I saw the citation you posted before you posted the text, I had a hunch the Child text was the one you cited - except that Child's text was at the British Museum, and apparently came from a different printer.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 01:17 AM

Date at the British Museum 1680?.
The version you quoted from Buchan and Hall as "Captain Ward" is identical to "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" or "The Jolly Mariner" in the Greig MSS "as sung by Miss Crighton (Scotland), group C in Bronson's Singing Tradition.
Group D is one verse from New Brunswick and duplicates one in the old broadsides.
Group D (Maine) has a couple of different verses- we learn that they fought from six that morning till sux o'clock at night before the Rainbow took flight.

Bronson gives music of four tunes. The tune from the Vaughan Williams MSS, etc., Group B (music shown), Bronson says comes closest to a "tradition for our ballad in England."


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 02:28 AM

Hi, Q - note that Child says the earliest possible date for the text he saw was 1680. I'm guessing it's contemporary to the one you cited.
-Joe Offer-

Here is Child's introduction to #287:
CAPTAIN WARD AND THE RAINBOW
Bagford Ballads, I, 65
OTHER black-letter copies are Pepys, IV, 202,No 195; Roxburghe, III, 56; Euing, No 108; British Museum, 112. f. 44 (19). This copy is printed in Halliwell's Early Naval Ballads, p. 59, Bell's Early Ballads, p. 167, Ebsworth's Roxburghe Ballads, VI, 426.
There are Aldermary Churchyard copies, as Roxburghe Ballads, 111,652, 861; Scottish stall-copies, as Greenock, W. Scott, Stirling, If, Randall; English, by Pitts, Seven Dials, one of which is printed in Logan's Pedlar's Pack, p. 1.
A copy in Buchan's MSS, II, 245, is nearly the old broadside; another, II, 417, is the stall-copy. Kinloch, MSS, V, 109, II, 265, has the stall-copy from oral transmission (with Weir for Ward). Rev. S. Baring-Gould has recently taken down this ballad (much changed by tradition) in the west of England.

Captain Ward, a famous rover, wishes to make his peace with the king, and offers thirty ton of gold as "ransom" for himself and his men. The king will not trust a man who has proved false to France and to Spain, and sends the Rainbow, with five hundred men, against Ward. The Rainbow has easy work with Dutch, Spaniards, and French, but her fifty brass pieces have no effect on Ward; though the Rainbow is brass without, he is steel within, 8 (suggested by 'Sir Andrew Barton,' A 27, B 25, 'He is brass within and steel without).' The Rainbow retires, and reports to the king that Ward is too strong to be taken. The king laments that he has lost three captains, any one of whom would have brought Ward in: George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, (both of whom had a part in the defeat of the Armada), and Robert De vereux, Earl of Essex.

The Rainbow was the name of one of Drake's four ships in his expedition against Cadiz in 1587. The Rainbow is mentioned very often from 1589; as in The Manuscripts of the Earl Cowper, vol. i, Hist. MSS Commission, XIIth Report, Appendix, Part I; Index in Part III of the same, p. 296.

John Ward, an Englishman of Kent, is said to have commenced 'rover' about 1604, by inducing the crew of a king's ship in which he had some place to turn pirates under his command. His race, though eventful, was, naturally enough, not long. He seems not to be heard of after 1609, in which year Ward and his colleague, Dansekar, are spoken of as the "two late famous pirates." See Mr Ebsworth's preface to the ballad, VI, 423 if., founded on Andrew Barker's book about Ward and Dansekar, published in the year last named.

Two other ballad-histories, 'The Seamen's Song of Captain Ward' and 'The Seamen's Song of Dansekar' (i. e. Dansekar and Ward),
entered in the Stationers' Registers July 3, 1609, are given by Mr Ebsworth, VT, 784, 423.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 03:14 AM

As Q says, the lyrics in the second version in the DT ("Captain Ward") are almost exactly what Greig collected from Miss Lizzie Crighton. The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection calls the song "The Jolly Mariner." The tune, however, is a bit different.
-Joe Offer-

Click to play


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: nutty
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 04:19 AM

This Bodleian Broadside is dated 1658 - 1664

A Seaman's Song of Captain Ward

I don't have time to transcribe it all but it begins ....

The Seaman's song of Captain Ward
(The famous pyrate of the world and an Englishman born)

The tune is .. The king is going to Bulloing

Gallants you must understand
Captain Ward of England
A pirate and a rover on the sea
Of late a simple fisherman
In the merry town of Feversham
Grows Famous in the world now every day


Printers:
          Coles, F. (London); Vere, T. (London); Gilbertson, W. (London)
Date:
          between 1658 and 1664

The same broadside contains a song (to the same tune) about "Dansekar the Dutch man, his robberies done at sea"


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: nutty
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 04:40 AM

Also in the Bodleian ....

Captain Ward and the Rainbow

Harding B11(831)
This is a different version to those already posted


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: nutty
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 04:42 AM

Again from the Bodleian ....
And ........

Printer:
          Bebbington, J.O. (Manchester)
Date:
          between 1855 and 1858
   
          Imprint: J.O. Bebbington, Printer, 26, Goulden Street, Oldham-road, Manchester, sold by
          J. Beaumont, 176 York-street, Leeds. Printer's Series: (335).
   
            WARD THE PIRATE


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Subject: Tune Add: CAPTAIN WARD and JOLLY MARINER
From: MMario
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 08:14 AM

These are the tunes from Bronson's 'The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads':

X:1
T:Captain Ward
C:Sung by a fisherman - 1905
I:abc2nwc
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:C
z6G2|F2E2D2C2|E2F2G2c2|A2G2E2C2|D6"^|"G2|F2E2D2C2|E2F2G2c2|c2G2E3F|G6"^|"G2|c3A d2c2|B2A2G2(c3/2 B/2)|A2(G2E2)C2|D6"^|"C2|E2G2C2D2|E2G2c2G3/2 A/2|G2F2E C D2|C6z2
w:Come all you gal-lant sea-men bold, all you that march-y drumLet's go and look for Cap-tain Ward, for on the sea he roams.He is the big-gest rob-ber that ev_-er you_ did hear.There's not been such a rob-ber found out for a-bove this hun-dred year.
|]

X:2
T:THE JOLLY MARINER
C:sung by Miss L. Crighton - 1908
I:abc2nwc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:G
z4z(D/2 A/2)|d2d c2c|A2A D2"^|"D|G2G E2D|C3-C2"^|"(B,/2 C/2)|D2D (E F G)|A2(d c) d "^|"c|A2A G2A|D3-D2z
w:Come_ all ye jol-ly mar-in-ersThat love to tak' a dram_I'll_ tell ye o'__ a rob_-berThat o'er the seas did come._
|]

X:3
T:Captain Ward and the Rainbow
C:Sung by Edward Holt 1927
I:abc2nwc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:G
z4zD|F2G A2A|d2B G2"^|"A|d2d c2B|A3z2"^|"G|F2F (F A) (A/2 G/2)|(G E D) ^C2"^|"D|G2F D2D|D3z3
w:Go home, go home, cries Cap-tain Ward,And tell your king for me,If he reigns king_ on_ dry__ landIt's I'll reign king on sea.
|]

X:4
T:Captain Ward and the Rainbow
N:I've changed the text on this.MMario
I:abc2nwc
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:G
z4zD|G2G G2E|E2E D2"^|"D|G2D (G A) B|c3z"^|"(B c)|d2B (c B A)|G2E D2"^|"D D2D D E F|G3z2D|G2G G2E|E2E D2"^|"D|G2D (G A) B|c3z"^|"B c|d2B (c B) A|G2E D2"^|"D D2D (D E) F|G3z2
w:Our King (he) built (him-self) a ship,a ship 'twas of_ great fameThe_ Rain-bow she__ was call-ed,and the Rain-bow was her name:He rig-ged her and fit-ted herand sent her off_ to sea,With five hun-der-red_ bold mar-in-ersto bear her com_-pan-y.
|]


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: IanC
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 08:27 AM

Lesley Nelson has a good summary of the history of both Captain Ward and the song, with links to some useful documents online.

Captain Ward

Here's the text of it.

This ballad was registered circa 1680 by W. Onley in London. It was registered as The Famous Sea-Fight between Captain Ward and the Rainbow. To the tune of Captain Ward. It also appears in a black letter ballad (broadside) in Bagford Ballads (1878) as well as in the Pepys and Roxburghe Manuscripts. Two other ballads of Captain Ward (The Seamen's Song of Captain Ward and The Seamen's Song of Dansekar) were entered in the Stationers' Register on July 3, 1609. The ballad also appears later on stall sheets in Scotland and in America.
This ballad is Child Ballad #287 (Captain Ward, Captain Ward and the Rainbow).

According to Child, John Ward was from Kent and is said to have become an outlaw circa 1604 when he persuaded the crew of a King's ship to turn pirate. Ward's career apparently ended around 1609, when he and his associate Daneskar are referred to as "late famous pirates" (see the first link below).

According to another source Captain Jack Ward was a Feversham fisherman whose career spanned 1603 to 1615 and who was never brought to justice.

The Rainbow was one of Drake's four ships that took part in the expedition in Cadiz in 1587. In a longer version of the ballad (in Child) the King refers to three captains who might have ended Ward's career earlier. They are George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland (1605), Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy (1606) and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (1601). Clifford and Blount took part in the defeat of the Armada.


There's another song about "The Rainbow" fleeing some pirates, the title of which I forget for the minute but sung from the point of view of the sailors on the vessel. It has the line

"The good ship, The Royal, called Rainbow by name"

:-)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 11:45 AM

Roud 224

The text quoted in the DT from The Scottish Folksinger is, as has already been noted, that sent to Gavin Greig by Lizzie Crichton in 1908 (Greig-Duncan 39A). The tune is from Alexander Robb of New Deer, who had only two verses, which he called Wallace and the Red Reiver (Greig-Duncan 39B).

Why lie ye here at anchor,
Ye muckle coordy thief?
Why lie ye here at anchor,
An' keep oor King in grief?

He has manned a bonnie ship,
And a ship o' muckle fame,
Called her the Flyin' Rainbow,
The Rainbow was her name.

The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, I, 1981, No.39, p.88


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 06:21 PM

Looks like the story of Dansekar the Dutchman is part of the fabric of Ward's story.

Seaman's Song of Dansekar the Dutchman,
His Robberies Done at Sea.

Tune: The King's Going to Boulogne (Bulloign)

Sing we (Seamen) now and than (sic)
Of Danseker the Dutchman,
whose gallant mind has won him great renown
To live on land he counts it safe,
But seeks to purchase greater grace
by roving on the Ocean up and down.

His heart is so aspiring,
That now his chief desiring,
is for to win himself a worthy name,
The Land has far too little ground,
The idea is of a larger bound,
and of a greater dignity and fame.

Now many a worthy gallant,
Of courage now most valiant, with him hath put their fortunes to the sea,
As the world about have heard
Of Densekar and English Ward,
and of their proud adventures every day.

There is not any Kingdom
In Turkey or in Christendom,
but by these pyrates have received loss:
Merchant men of every Land
Do daily in great danger stand,
and fear do much the Ocean main to cross.

They make Children fatherless,
Woeful widows in distress,
in shedding blood they took much delight,
Fathers they bereave of sons,
Regarding neither cries nor moans,
so much they joy to see a bloody fight.

They count it gallant bearing,
To hear the canons roaring,
and Musket shot to rattle in the sky:
Their gloates would be of the biggest,
To fight against the foes of Christ
and such as do our Christian faith deny.

But their cursed villainies,
And their bloody piracies,
are chiefly bent against our Christian friends
Some Christians so delight in evils
That they become the sons of Devils,
and for the same have many (?)warneful ends.

England suffers danger,
As well as any stranger,
Nations are alike unto this company,
Many English merchant men,
And of London now and then,
have tasted of their vile extremity.

London's Elizabeth
Of late these Rovers taken have
a ship well laden with merchandise,
The nimble Pearl and Charity
All ships of gallant bravery,
are by these Pyrates made a lawful prize.

The Trojan of London
With other ships many a one,
have stooped sail and (? yielded out of hand,
These pyrates they have shed their blood,
And the Turks have bought their goods
being all too weak their power to withstand.

Of Hull and Bonaventer,
Which was a great frequenter,
and passer of the straits to Barbary:
Both ship and men late taken were,
By Pyrates Ward and Dansekar
and brought by them into captivity.

English Ward and Dansekar,
Begin now to jar,
about dividing of their gotten goods,
Both ships and soldiers gather head,
Dansekar from Ward is fled,
so full of pride and malice are their bloods.

Ward does only promise,
To keep about rich Tunis,
and be Commander of those Turkish Seas,
But valiant Dutch-land Dansekar,
Doth hover near unto Angier,
and there his threatening colours now displays.

These Pyrates thus divided
By God is sure provided,
in secret sort(?) to work each others woe,
Such Wicked courses cannot stand,
The Devil thus puts in his hand,
And God will give them soon an overthrow.

Bodleian Ballads, Douce Ballads 2(199a); Wood 401(79) and other copies (hard to read). Printed by Coles, Vere and Wright, London, between 1663 and 1674.

------


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 06:53 PM

I find it fascinating the way Ward and Dansekar are presented as claiming to harry the Algerines and Ottomans, when reality was rather different. Good Christian gentlemen they weren't.
Guess it's a case of selective memory about one's heroes.
BTW, Rafael Sabatini had modelled Sir Oliver Tressillian on the exploits of Ward. Also the case of the Englishmen tried by the Inquisition in 1610 is a fascinating account of Ward's contemporaries.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Les from Hull
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 11:11 AM

I've seen it claimed that the original Captain Ward was the reason that people of that surname are nicknamed 'Sharkey' in the Royal Navy, although no particular reason given for it. Any ideas? I'm interested because it's also my name.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 11:59 AM

Hmm, probably as much reason as 'Dusty' Miller, but who knows.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Les from Hull
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 01:01 PM

Well millers are often dusty, but am not so sure about the Sharkey/Ward connection. Did Captain John Ward resemble a shark (either physically or in habits)? Or am I missing something?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 01:17 PM

Predatory, but that's about it.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Roberto
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 05:02 PM

8 recordings of Captain Ward:

Captain Ward
Roy Harris, Round Cape Horn, recorded 1974, in Topic TSCD499, 1998, first published in the LP Champions of Folly, Folk Songs & Ballads sung by Roy Harris, Topic 12TS256, 1975

Come all ye valiant seamen bold
With courage beat your drum
I'll tell you of a rover
That over the seas is come

His name it is bold Captain Ward
So quickly you shall hear
For such a rover there has not been
Or seen for many a year

On February the 7th day
A ship sailed from the West
With silks and satins loaded
And a cargo of the best

Till they met bold Captain Ward
Upon the watery main
He took from her the wealth and store
Then sent her back again

He wrote a letter to the Queen
On the fourteenth of July
To know of her if he might come
With all his company

To know of her if he might come
All England to behold
And for his pardon he would give
Five hundred pound of gold

Now, the Queen she got a ship built
A ship of noble fame
She was called The Rainbow,
You may have heard the name

She was called The Rainbow
And in the seas went she
With full five hundred seamen
To bear her company

Now when The Rainbow came on to
The place where Ward he did lay:
Where is the Admiral of your ship? -
The captain he did say

I'm here, I'm here, cried Captain Ward
My name I'll not deny
For if you are one of the Queen's ships,
You are welcome to pass by

Oh no, says gallant Rainbow
It grieves our Queen full sore
That her rich merchant ships can't pass
As they had done afore

Come on, come on, cried salt-sea Ward
I value you not a pin
For if you got brass for an outward show
Well I got steel within!

Oh, then the gallant Rainbow
She fired, she fired in vain
Till six and thirty of the men
All on the deck lay slain

Fight on, fight on, says salt-sea Ward
Your style so pleases me
I'll fight you for a month or two
For your master I must be

At eight o' clock in the morning
That bloody fight begun
It lasted till the evening
To the setting of the sun

Go home, go home, cried captain Ward
And tell your Queen from me
If she rules Queen upon dry land
I'll rule King over the sea



Captain Ward
The Tannahill Weavers, Capernaum, Green Linnet GLCD 1146, 1994

Come all ye jolly mariners
That love to tak' a dram
I'll tell you of a robber
That o'er the sea did come

He wrote a letter to the king
On the eleventh o' July
To see if he wad accept o' him
For his jovial company

Na, na, says the king,
Oh that can never be,
They tell me you're a robber,
A robber on the sea.

He has built a bonnie ship
An' sent her to the sea
Wi' fower an' twenty mariners
To man his bonnie ship wi'

An' they sailed up an' they sailed doon
Sae stately, blythe an' free
Till they spied the king's high Reindeer
Like a leviathan on the sea.

Is it you there, ye tinker,
Ye silly coordly thief?
Why lie you there, ye tinker,
An' hold oor king in grief?

They fought from one in the morning
Till it was six at night
Until the king's high Reindeer
Was forced to tak' her flight

Gae hame, gae hame, ye tinkers!
Gae tell your king fae me:
Though he reign king upon good dry land,
I will reign king upon sea!

Come all ye jolly mariners
That love to tak' a dram
I'll tell you of a robber
That o'er the sea did come

He wrote a letter to the king
On the eleventh o' July
To see if he wad accept o' him
For his jovial company

Na, na, says the king,
Oh that can never be,
They tell me you're a robber,
A robber on the sea.

He has built a bonnie ship
An' sent her to the sea
Wi' fower an' twenty mariners
To man his bonnie ship wi'



Captain Ward and the Rainbow
Ewan MacColl, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads Vol.2, F.J.Child Ballads sung by Ewan MacColl, Folkways Records FG 3510

Come all ye jolly mariners
That love to tak' a dram
I'll tell ye o' a robber
That o'er the seas did come

He wrote a letter to his king
On the eleventh o' July
To see if he would accept o' him
For his jovial company

O, no ? O, no -Says the king,
Such things they canna be,
They tell me you are a robber,
A robber on the sea.

He has built a bonnie ship
And sent her to the sea
Wi' four an' twenty mariners
To guard his bonnie ship wi'

They sailed up and they sailed down
Sae stately, blythe and free
Till they spied the king's High Reindeer
Like a leviathon on the sea.

Why lie ye here, ye tinker?
Ye silly coordly thief
Why lie ye here, ye tinker,
And hold our king in grief?

They fought from one in the morning
Till it was six at night
Until the king's High Reindeer
Was forced to tak' her flight

Gang hame, gang hame, ye tinkers
Tell ye your king fae me:
Though he be king upon good dry land,
I will reign king upon the sea



Captain Ward and the Rainbow
Ewan MacColl, with John Faulkner, fiddle, on Ye Mariners All, The Critics Group, More Shanties and Forebitters, Argo ZDA 138, 1971

Come all ye jolly mariners
That love to tak' a dram
I'll tell ye o' a robber
That o'er the seas did come

He wrote a letter tae his king
On the eleventh o' July
To see if he would accept o' him
For his jovial company

O, no ? O, no - Says the king
Such things they canna be
They tell me you are a robber
A robber on the sea

He has built a bonnie ship
And sent her tae the sea
Wi' four an' twenty mariners
To guard his bonnie ship wi'

They sailed up and they sailed doon
Sae stately, blythe and free
Till they spied the king's High Reindeer
Like a leviathon on the sea

Why lie ye here, ye tinker
Ye silly coordly thief?
Why lie ye here, ye tinker
And hold oor king in grief?

They fought frae yin in the morning
Till it was six at night
Until the king's High Reindeer
Was forced to tak' her flight

Gang hame, gang hame, ye tinkers
Tell ye your king fae me:
Though he be king upon good dry land
I will reign king on the sea



Ward the Pirate
Coope, Boyes and Simpson, Triple Echo, Songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth and Percy Granger, No Masters Co-operative, NMCD22, 2005.


Bushes and Biars, Folk Songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams, edited by Roy Palmer, 1983

Come all you gallant seamen bold
All you that march to drum
Let's go and look for Captain Ward
For on the sea he roams
He is the biggest robber
That ever you did hear
There's not been such a robber
For above this hundred year

A ship was sailing from the east
And going to the west
Loaded with silks and satins
And velvets of the best
But meeting there with Captain Ward
It proved hard to maintain
He robbèd them of all their wealth
And bid them tell their king

On February's fourteenth day
He wrote unto our King
To know of him if he might come
And all his comp'ny bring
To know of him if he might come
Old England to behold
And for his pardon he would give
Five hundred tons of gold

O then the king provided
A ship of noble fame
She's called the "Royal Rainbow"
Perhaps you've heard her name
She was as well provided for
As any ship can be
Full thirteen hundred men on board
To bear her company

O then this gallant "Rainbow"
Came crossing o'er the main
Saying - "Yonder lies bold Captain Ward
And here we must remain"
"I'm here, I'm here" ? cried Captain Ward
"My name I'll not deny
But if you are one of the King's fine ships
You are welcome to pass by"

"O no" ? says gallant Rainbow
"It grieves our King full sore
That his rich merchant ships can't pass
As they have done before"
"Come on, come on" ? cries Captain Ward
"I value you not a pin
For if you've got brass for an outward show
Then I've got steel within"

O then the gallant Rainbow
She fired, she fired in vain
Till six and thirty of her men
All on the deck was slain
"Fight on, fight on" - says Captain Ward
This sport well pleases me
For if you fight this month and more
Your master I shall be"

It was eight o'clock in the morning
When they began to fight
And so they did continue there
Till nine o'clock at night
"Go home, go home" - says Captain Ward
"And tell your king from me
If he reigns King on all the land
Ward will reign King at sea"



Ward the Pirate
Alfred Deller, Vaughan Williams, Folk Songs, Vanguard Classics 085073 71, first released 1959

Come all you gallant seamen bold
All you that march to drum
Let's go and look for Captain Ward
Far on the sea he roams
He is the biggest robber
That ever you did hear
There's not been such a robber
Found for above this hundred year

A ship was sailing from the east
And going to the west
Loaded with silks and satins
And velvets of the best
But meeting there with Captain Ward
It proved a bad meeting
He robbed them of all their wealth
And bid them tell their king

O then the king provided
A ship of noble fame
She's called the "Royal Rainbow"
If you would know her name
She was as well provided for
As any ship could be
Full thirteen hundred men on board
To bear her company

'Twas eight o'clock when they began
When they began to fight
And so they did continue
Till nine o'clock at night
"Fight on, fight on" says Captain Ward
This sport well pleases me
For if you fight this month or more
Your master I will be"

O then the gallant "Rainbow"
She fired, she fired in vain
Till six and thirty of her men
All on the deck were slain
"Go home, go home" says Captain Ward
"And tell your king for me
If he reigns king on all the land
Ward will reign king on sea"



Ward the Pirate
Peter Bellamy, Fair Annie (compilation from two original albums, Peter Bellamy & Fair Annie), Fellside FECD 187; the ballad is from Peter Belamy, first released as Green Linnet, Green Linnet, SIF 1001, 1975. From Vaughan Williams, collected in Norfolk.

Come all you gallant seamen bold
All you that march to drum
Let's go and look for Captain Ward
Far out on the sea he roams
For he is the biggest robber
That ever you did hear
There's not been such a robber found
In above this hundred year

Now a ship it was sailing from the east
And going to the west
Loaded with silks and satins
And velvets of the best
But in meeting there with Captain Ward
It was a sad meeting
For he robbed them of their wealth and store
And bid them tell their king

So it's then our king he builded
A ship of noted fame
She's call'd the Royal Rainbow
If you would know her name
And she was as well provided for
As any ship can be
With thirteen hundred men on board
To bear her company

And at eight o'clock in the morning
When they did begin to fight
And so they did continue there
Till nine o'clock at night
Fight on, fight on! - Cried Captain Ward
For this sport pleases me
But though you fight a month or more
Your master still I'll be

So it's then the Royal Rainbow, she fired
But she fired all in vain
Till six and sixty of her men
All on the decks lie slain
Go home, go home! - Cried Captain Ward
And tell your king from me:
Though he reigns king on all dry land
I'll reign king on the sea



Captain Ward and the Rainbow
Cyril Poacher, Plenty of Thyme, Musical Traditions MTCD 303; song recorded in 1974

Her name it is gallant Rainbow
You might have heard her name
With four and twenty of the king's fine ships
To drive her back again

Go ye home, go ye home - cried Captain Ward
Your galliant Rainbow sail
With four and twenty of the king's fine men
To drive her back again


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 06:06 PM

Dave Burland also recorded the song on his second Leader/Trailer LP, titled Dave Burland. I believe it's the first song/first side. Good tune that he used.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 07:20 PM

Although it's useful to know who has recorded arrangements of songs found in tradition by other people, these tell us nothing (unless those traditional sources are properly identified) about the songs; though I suppose that we may learn a little about the way today's professional entertainers adapt the material that they use.

By all means quote texts sung by your favourite performers; please also quote their sources in full. If you don't do that, we have no way of knowing whether the material is relevant to a study of the song's history, or whether it was made up last week. Roberto has just posted several duplicate texts (none from traditional singers); I'm at a loss to understand what that can possibly tell us, except that revival performers tend to learn songs from each others' records rather than from original sources; and that all too few people bother to credit the original singers who kept the songs alive.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Roberto
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 07:52 AM

You're right, Malcolm. Some information was already given in my post, but not to every recording. The first four recordings are all based on the tune that Ewan MacColl said to have learned from his father. Then there are three that come from Ralp Vaughan Williams' collecting in Norfolk. In the book Bushes and Briars, Folk Songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams, edited by Roy Palmer, there is the staff notation and the text to Ward the Pirate. The notes add that "this was also sung by Mr John Bayley of King's Lynn", etc: I don't know if this mean that Mr John Bayley is the singer of the song in the book, or if there is another version, beside the one in the book, that Vaughan Wiliams also collected. The last recording I think should be considered of a source version, by Cyril Poacher. I'm sorry I couldn't find Dave Burland's recording (but I'm still after it). R


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 09:22 AM

Peter Bellamy generaly used source material didn't he?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 12:19 AM

I didn't spot poor old Cyril Poacher on the end there! He was the real thing alright, from the Blaxhall (Suffolk) tradition.

Re the set in Roy Palmer's Bushes and Briars. You need to refer also to the previous note (no 53, The Captain's Apprentice) to see that the singer was James Carter, a fisherman of North End, King's Lynn, Norfolk. The John Bayley referred to, also of King's Lynn, sang another version of the song for Vaughan Williams. So far as I know, that set has never been published; indeed, it isn't mentioned at all in Michael Kennedy's Index of Folk Songs Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams, so it would be necessary to look at the MS books to see if it was even noted.

Palmer quotes Carter's text as printed in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society, II (8) 1906, 163-4; although no comment on provenance is made in the Journal, a note in Vaughan Williams' Folk Songs from the Eastern Counties (where the text is printed with only 5 verses and a few slight changes of wording) to the effect that "The above words have been completed partly from a Sussex version (sung to another tune) and partly from a printed copy" implies that RVW, as so often, got only part of the song on that occasion and re-constructed the rest later. He did get a set from Peter and Harriet Verrall (Horsham, Sussex), so perhaps that was part of it. I think that, too, is unpublished, so again the MSS may provide the only answer.

If we're looking at the history of a song and considering what it meant to the people who sang it as part of their lives, then re-interpretations by today's professional performers don't really enter the equation; we need to be looking at the forms of the song that were actually found by the folk song collectors (insofar as that is possible; see my comments above) and at other "fixed" forms such as broadside editions.

The further changes introduced by modern recording artists are liable tell us nothing about the songs (and often, as past discussions here have demonstrated, can lead to great confusion), though as I've said, they may offer a linked (but distinct) area for study in their own right. It's important to make that distinction, though, so that everybody knows what is being talked about. Of the arrangements of the "Norfolk" set quoted above, it's unsurprising that Peter Bellamy's shows the most departure from the published text; he was a very individual stylist.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 12:49 PM

Recently Peter Bellamy's version of 'Captain Ward' has been re-issued ('Fair Annie', Fellside FECD187, 2004). In the notes to this CD (probably also re-issued from the original LP)PB states:

"This short version of the great pirate ballad was collected in Norfolk by Vaughan Williams, once again with a disappointing tune. I have therefore set the verses to another ballad tune, Edwin."

So, PB did "use source material" but occasionally adapted it for his own purposes. There is, of course, nothing particularly wrong with this, especially as he chose to document the changes in his notes.

Personally, I quite like James Carter's tune (the one published in Palmer) - but to me, as a singer, it presents numerous problems. But who says singing folk songs should be easy?!

Dave Bishop


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Jul 05 - 01:30 AM

Yes, of course Peter used "source material". Has anybody suggested otherwise? He rarely left that material unchanged, though; so, though there is indeed nothing wrong with that (particularly when people say what they've done, especially when they are influential and others are liable to copy them) you can't use his recordings as evidence of anything that precedes them. You need to go to his sources for that. Why do people find that simple proposition so difficult to understand?

Thanks for telling us that Peter used a different tune for Ward (but from where? Edwin was found all over the place). I haven't heard the recording, and Roberto didn't see fit to mention that rather important detail. Reinforces my point rather.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 04 Jul 05 - 02:29 AM

But I don't find it hard to grasp. What I ment was he used 'source' material as opposed to learning it off someone's record didn't he?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 04 Jul 05 - 03:10 AM

Oh and I take it by Edwin we mean Edwin in the Lowlands, Low?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Roberto
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 02:36 AM

I add the text of the ballad as sung by Dave Burland. I'd say it is taken from Ewan MacColl's recordings, with the spell anglicized. R

Captain Ward and the Rainbow
Dave Burland, in Dave Burland, Trailer LER 2082, 1972. From Gavin Greig's Last Leaves of Aberdeen Ballads and Ballad Airs.

Come all you jolly mariners
That loves to take a dram
I'll tell you of a robber bold
That o'er the seas did come

And he wrote a letter to his king
On the eleventh of July
To see if he would accept of him
For his jovial company

O, no, no - Says the king
Such things can never be
For I fear you are a robber
A robber on the sea

So he has built a bonnie ship
And sent her on to sea
Wi' four an' twenty mariners
To guard his bonnie ship wi'

And they've sailed up and they've sailed down
So stately, blythe and free
Until they spied the king's Reindeer
A-sailing on the sea

Why lie ye here, you tinkers?
Ye silly coordly thieves
Why lie ye here, you tinkers
And hold our king in grief?

And they fought from one o' clock in the morn
Till it was six at night
Until the king's High Reindeer
Was forced to take her flight

Go home, go home, you tinkers
And tell your king from me:
That tough he reign king upon good dry land
I will reign king upon sea


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Fidjit
Date: 07 Apr 06 - 04:29 AM

Nice thread Joe Interesting story.
Latest update : Steve Tilston
does a very nice version of Captain Ward on his latest CD. "Of Many Hands" Does lots of other Golden Oldies too.

Chas


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Apr 06 - 05:01 PM

I some how missed this thread, thanks for starting it Joe, very interesting.

In 'The Book of Pirate Songs' (a very well done job with the research) by Stuart Frank, he presents 3 old ballads. Captain Ward, Dansekar The Dutchman & Captain Ward & the Rainbow (#287). His notes on The older of teh two 'Captain has Ward born in 1553 in Kent & being a Fisherman before enlisting in the navy & "commenced 'rover' about 1604" (Child V:143) by perpetrating a naval mutiny, taking command, & turing the shipto piracy. "By 1606 he commanded a fleet of 500 & living in a palaceat Tunis. In 1609 he "tried unsuccessfully to obtain a pardon" from King James 1 (Cordingly 1996, 90). That same year with Ward still active & thriving in the Mediterranean, his terrible reputation achieved new heights: one Andrew Barker wrote a book about him (Child V 143; Ebsworth VI: 423: Logan,4) and the ballad "Captain Ward" was licensed, making it pehaps the earliest pirate ballad to appear in print in English. Child appears to be mistaken in his contention that Ward "seems not to be heard of after 1609". According to Cordingly (Cordingly 1996,13) Ward died in his bed of natural causes -plague-in 1622.
Frank goes on to mention tha : For both this & the copmanion ballad, "Dansekar the Dutchman" which appeared on the same sheet at the same time, the tune specified is "The King's Going to Bulloign," now lost. Early editions of "Captain Ward & the Rainbow" call for a tune called "Captain Ward" but that tune cannot be the one intended here, as the "Rainbow" ballad & this one (Captain Ward) are metrically incompatible & cannot be sung to the same tune. Simpson does not even mention "Captain Ward", "Dansekar," or "The King's Gone to Bulloign"; Child barely recognizes "Captain Ward" as anything more than archival text; & Bronson follows suit. They may have a point. There is little evdence that "Captain Ward" hass been sung at all during the past 3 centuries.

Of Dansekar he says: "A cohort of Captain Ward, he was hanged at Tunis in 1611 two years after the ballad was first printed. The text is notable for it's catalogue of English vessals captured, which, given the journalistic nature of broadsides, may be regarde as faily accurate".

Of the "Captain Ward & the Rainbow, Frank also says that "CH Firth. an astute naval historian, suggests that the "Rainbow" ballad may be a "ledgendary version" of the actual Britishnaval expedition to the Barbary Coast commanded be Captain William Rainborow in 1637, which resulted in the rescue from slavery of "300 or 400 Englishmen' - hence the transformed name Rainbow & the confusion with Ward's notorious earlier career on the adjacent North African coast".
"Only the "Rainbow" has been recovered from tradition & several tunes are associated with it. Early broadsides consulted bt Bell, Child, Euing & Firth call for something called Captain Ward, which cannot be the same tune as for the older ballad ("Captain Ward") in fact it "remains unidentified" (Bronson IV:363) "& does not appear to have survived" (Simpson, 720n). Thius is an odd melody composed by George Frederick Handel that was exploited on the London stage in two of John Gay's musical plays, "The What D'ye Call It: A Tragi-Comi-Pastoral Farce" (1715) and "The Beggar's Opera" (1728); it also "appeared in a host of musical miscellanies" & furnished the melody for "Sir John Barleycorn" & "The dying Virgin's Farewell," among other ballads 9719f). Thus, "'Twas when tha seas were roaring" [Tune A} (Tune A, Twas when the seas were roaring" by Handle, per Simpson, 720 is the tune given in Frank's book as the tune for "Rainbow")mat be the the most authentic antiquarian tune that survives for "Captain Ward & the Rainbow".

For a more complete text see Frank's book.

Hope this sheds a little more light on these songs.
Barry


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 08 Apr 06 - 06:39 AM

In his 'Folk Songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams' (1983) Roy Palmer suggests that late 17th Century ballad writers confused the story of the English born pirate John Ward, who operated out of Tunis in the early 17th Century, with that of the later Captain Rainsborow/Rainsbrough who was sent by Charles I to Malta to sort out the Barbary Corsairs who had been terrorising the sea lanes around that island. The (presumably) villainous Ward was immortalised whereas poor old Captain R. became a ship!
I hope that I've not misrepresented the information given in Mr Palmer's book (you probably need to read it yourself). Nevertheless, his explantion of the origin of of the 'Captain Ward and the Rainbow' ballad is not a million miles from that given by Barry Finn above.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Captain Ward
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 12 - 03:46 PM

Does anyone have the chords for this song, particularly the spiers & boden version; i've been looking for them everywhere!


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