> Danny Spooner > Songs > You Gentlemen of Boston

You Gentlemen of Boston

[ Roud 18526 ; Ballad Index WT201 ; Bodleian Roud 18526 ; Wiltshire Roud 18526 ; trad.]

Ye Mariners All (John Roberts, John Rockwell and Larry Young) sang You Gentlemen of Boston on their 2003 CD Songs of the Sea. John Roberts noted:

Larry [Young] found You Gentlemen of Boston in the Revolutionary War journal of Timothy Connor, an American prisoner held in Portsmouth, England. Larry took the tune from The Gallant Seaman's Sufferings, an older version of the song.

Danny Spooner sang You Gentlemen of Boston in 2014 on his CD Sailor's Consolation. He noted:

I got this from the singing of Larry Young, a rare-book restorer who lives in Salem, Massachusetts. Larry found this in the Revolutionary War journal of Timothy Connor who was taken prisoner by the English and held in Portsmouth, England. He set his own words to an older English song, The Gallant Seaman's Sufferings, which he probably heard while in prison.

Lyrics

Ye Mariners All sing You Gentlemen of Boston

You gentlemen of Boston who stay at home at ease
How little do you think upon the danger of the seas
Give ear unto bold mariners and they will plainly show
All the fears and the cares we poor sailors undergo.

If you intend to be seamen you must have a valiant heart
And when you're on the raging seas you must not think to start
Neither be fainthearted at hail, rain, sleet or snow
Nor to think for to sink when the stormy winds do blow.

Sometimes on Neptune's bosom our ship is tossed with waves
Expecting every moment the sea should be our graves
It's up aloft she rises then down again so low
And we'll reel on her keel when the stormy winds do blow.

When we meet our enemies as oftentimes we do
We'll either drive them from our coast or else we'll bring them to
Our roaring guns shall teach them our valour for to show
And we'll reel on her keel when the stormy winds do blow.

When we return to Boston with wages for our pains
The tapster and the miller shall share in all our gains
We'll call for liquor merrily, we'll pay before we go
And we'll roar on the shore when the stormy winds do blow.