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The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite

  • (Trad)

    Our gallant ship the Amphitrite, she lay in Plymouth Sound
    Blue Peter at the fore-mast head for she was outward bound
    We were waiting there for orders to send us far from home
    Our orders came for Rio, and thence around Cape Horn

    When we arrived at Rio we prepared for heavy gales
    We set up all our rigging, boys, and bent on all new sails
    From ship to ship they cheered us as we did sail along
    And wished us pleasant weather in the rounding of Cape Horn

    When beating off Magellan it blew exceeding hard
    While shortening sail, two gallant tars fell from the tops'l yard
    By angry seas the ropes we threw from their poor hands was torn
    We were forced to leave them for the sharks that prowl around Cape Horn

    When we got round the Horn, my boys, we had some glorious days
    And very soon our killick dropped into Valparaiso Bay
    The pretty girls came round in flocks, I solemnly declare
    They're far before the Plymouth girls with their long and their curly hair

    For they love a jolly sailor when he spends his money free
    They'll laugh and sing and merry merry be and have a jovial spree
    And when your money is all gone, they won't on you impose
    They're not like the Plymouth girls that'll pawn and sell your clothes

    Farewell to Valparaiso, and farewell for a while
    Likewise to all your Spanish girls along the coast of Chile
    And if ever I live to be paid off, I'll sit and'll sing this song
    God bless those pretty Spanish girls we left around Cape Horn

    As sung by Alex Campbell

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1959:] [Rounding the Horn] Somewhat to our surprise, we have not found any other published version of [this]. The song seems to have been rather well-known among nineteenth-century seamen. Miss Gilchrist collected another version in which the ship is called the Conway. In 1793, the crew of a ship called Amphitrite addressed a petition to the authorities complaining about the floggings ordered by the mate, 'a most Cruel and Barberous man'. The song may be a little later, though it is hard to be sure in these matters. The use of the description 'frigate' would imply that the vessel was a naval one. On the other hand, the reference may be to the brig Amphitrite, built in 1820 and engaged in the South American trade. (Penguin Book of English Folk Songs 122)

  • [1967:] On the way to becoming a separate tune is this variant [of the Dives and Lazarus tune], a well-loved, much-used air (some singers employ it for the Van Diemen's Land words) that retains the fourteen-syllable (8 + 6) metre of the 'standard' models of the tune, and uses the keynote-fifth cadences, but transforms the content of the tune-lines from AABA to ABBA which some authorities believe to be more modern. [...] It would not be easy to isolate the elements that establish this tune firmly as a cousin or half-brother of Lazarus. Nevertheless the family resemblance is there, as when an artist over-paints and alters an old portrait but the ingrained basic design shows unmistakably through. This version carries the words of the rousing sailor song, Rounding the Horn. (Lloyd, England 75)

  • [1968:] It is so good a song that it takes very little effort or imagination to identify oneself with the sailors on 'the gallant frigate Amphitrite'. How far removed it all is from comfortable middle class affluence. (Notes 'The Johnstons')

  • [1979:] Also known as Rounding the Horne; it was collected in 1907 from a Mr. Bolton of Lancashire. (Notes Peter Bellamy, 'Both Sides Then')

Quelle: England

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