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Happy! - July 6 (John Paul Jones)

Abby Sale 06 Jul 05 - 07:16 AM
Jimmy Twitcher 06 Jul 05 - 03:18 PM
Abby Sale 07 Jul 05 - 07:49 AM
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Subject: Happy! - July 6
From: Abby Sale
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 07:16 AM

Happy Birthday!

John Paul Jones



        Hurrah for Captain John Paul Jones,
           sing his praise in heroe's tones.
        He has done his business well,
           his mighty acts no tongue can tell.

                "Hurrah for John Paul Jones," (translated from the Dutch) Folkways LP Seaport 76

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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Subject: RE: Happy! - July 6
From: Jimmy Twitcher
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 03:18 PM

Translated from the Dutch? Huh? Why would a song about an American (OK, Scot turned American) naval hero go into the Dutch tradition? Surely there's a story there.

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Subject: RE: Happy! - July 6
From: Abby Sale
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 07:49 AM

I'm not sure he ever became anything you'd call American. He soon lit out for other parts. Not exactly nice and often prosecuted. Quite a character and certainly a fine sailor.

A brief entry from Ency. Britannica:

In September the little squadron intercepted the Baltic merchant fleet under convoy of the British ships �Serapis� and �Countess of Scarborough.� What followed was one of the most famous naval engagements in American history. During the early stages of a gruelling 3 1/2-hour gun battle, Jones answered an enemy challenge to surrender with the memorable words, �I have not yet begun to fight!� He won a stunning victory, though with a heavy loss of life, when the �Serapis� surrendered and was boarded by Jones and his crew. The �Bonhomme Richard� sank soon afterward from damage received in the engagement, and Jones sailed both the �Serapis� and the captured �Countess of Scarborough� to the Netherlands. In France Louis XVI rewarded him with a gold-hilted sword and made him a chevalier of France.

After receiving a Congressional gold medal in 1787, Jones was dispatched on official business to Denmark; while abroad he accepted an appointment to the Russian Navy as rear admiral. This period in his life was uniformly disappointing, and he was plagued with lack of recognition and false accusation. In 1790 he returned to Paris embittered and physically broken. He died soon after and was buried in an unmarked grave. More than a century later, however, U.S. warships escorted his remains back to his adopted country, and his grave at Annapolis, Md., was made a national shrine.

Kinda international.

From the album notes:
"Since Jones spent a lot of time at Amsterdam, the Dutch were quite familiar with his exploits, and they were generally quite pleased to see the Lion's tail being tweaked. The song was written late in 1779 in Amsterdam and commemorates his victory over the Serapis. It is still sung by Dutch school children, [per 1975] and there is also a version in French."

Notes by John F. Miller

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Mudcat time: 16 October 8:48 PM EDT

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