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Here's the Tender Coming

[ Roud 3174 ; Ballad Index StoR177 ; trad.]

Dave Burland sang the press-gang song Here's the Tender Coming in 1971 on his first Trailer album, A Dalesman's Litany.

Frankie Armstrong sang Here's the Tender Coming in 1973 on the Topic anthology of songs and ballads of Nelson's Navy, The Valiant Sailor. This track was also included on the French compilation album Chants de Marins IV: Ballads, Complaintes et Shanties des Matelots Anglais. Roy Palmer commented in the original album's sleeve notes:

This poignant song comes from the North-East. Newcastle and Sunderland were second only to London in providing men for the navy during the French wars. Resistance was sometimes violent, with women playing a prominent part. The Lawe is a high vantage point, whence the hated tender could be seen lying out beyond the harbour bar. The pressing tenders were like floating prisons, where “recruits” were assembled before being distributed to the various ships.

Canny Fettle sang Here's the Tender in 1975 on their Traditional Sound Recordings album Varry Canny.

The High Level Ranters sang Captain Bover and Here's the Tender Coming in 1976 on their Topic album Ranting Lads. Their sleeve notes commented:

A press gang song which appears in both the Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882) and Terry’s Salt Sea Ballads (1931).

Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies recorded Here's the Tender Coming in September 1991 for the Fellside anthology of English traditional songs, Voices.

Sandra and Nancy Kerr and James Fagan sang Here's the Tender Coming in 1999 on their CD Scalene. They commented in their liner notes:

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the impressment of young men into the army or navy meant hardship for them and the families they were forced to leave. A combination of poignant text and a lilting, rather jaunty tune, this piece from the Northumbrian Minstrelsy mentions many places along the north-east coast, including Druridge Bay, which can be seen from Sandra's House.

Corrina Hewat and Kathryn Tickell sang Here's the Tender Coming and Captain Bover in 2006 on the latter's CD Strange But True. Two year later Kathryn Tickell sang it on her and her brother Peter Tickell's CD What We Do. Corrina Hewat commented:

Press Gangs were greatly feared on Tyneside, as they used cruelly harsh and oppressive measures to recruit seamen, inevitably meeting with resistance and resulting in riots and bloodshed. Even the keelmen of Sandgate, Newcastle, highly skilled and sought-after boatmen who handled the movement of coal from the riverside to ships on the River Tyne, were not safe and lived in constant fear of the ‘Regulation Officer’ Captain Bover and his Press Gang who operated on the Newcastle quayside. Captain Bover died in 1792 and was commander of the Press Gang on the Tyne for many years. Evidence suggests that he did his best to carry out a harsh job as leniently as he could, but this was probably of little comfort to those affected.

Graham and Sam Pirt sang Here's the Tender Coming and Captain Bover in 2008 on their Fellside CD Dance ti' Thee Daddy.

The Unthanks sang Here's the Tender Coming in 2009 as the title track of their CD Here's the Tender Coming. Rachel Unthank commented in the liner notes:

A song we have sung for years. I remember singing it with Sandra Kerr at the Folkworks summer school and also listening to our Dad sing it with The Keelers.

This video shows them at the Great British Folk Festival 2015:

Lyrics

Frankie Armstrong sings Here's the Tender Coming Scalene sing Here's the Tender Coming

Here's the tender coming, pressing all the men;
Oh dear hinny, what shall we do then?
Here's the tender coming, off at Shield's Bar,
Here's the tender coming, full of men-o'-war.

Hide thee, canny Geordie, hide thyself away;
Hide thee till the tender makes for Druridge Bay.
If they take thee, Geordie, who's to win our bread?
Me and little Jackie better off be dead.

Here's the tender coming, stealing off my dear;
Oh dear hinny, they'll ship you out of here.
They will ship you foreign, that is what it means;
Here's the tender coming, full of red marines.

Hey, bonny lassie, let's go to the Lawe,
See the tender lying, off at Shield's Bar,
With her colours flying, anchor at her bow.
They took my bonny laddie, best of all the crew.

(repeat first verse)

Here's the tender coming, pressing all the men;
Oh dear hinny, what shall we dae then?
Here's the tender coming, off at Shield's Bar,
Here's the tender coming, full of men-o'-war.

Hey, bonny lassie, let's gan tae the Lawe,
Tae see the tender lying, off at Shield's Bar,
With her colours flying, anchor at the bow.
They took me bonny laddie, best of all the crew.

Here's the tender coming, pressing off my dear;
Oh dear hinny, they'll ship ye oot of here.
They will ship ye foreign, that is what it means;
Here's the tender coming, full of red marines.

If they take ye hinny, what we'll find wor bread?
Me and both the bairnies might as well be deid.
Here's the tender coming, off at Shield's Bar,
Here's the tender coming, full of men-o'-war.

Hide, canny laddie, hide theesel' away;
Hide till the frigate makes for Druridge Bay.
Here's the tender coming, off at Shield's Bar,
Here's the tender coming, full of men-o'-war.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Req: Here's the Tender Coming / The Press-Gang.