> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > The Seamen’s Hymn
> Louis Killen > Songs > Seaman’s Hymn

The Seamen’s Hymn

[ Roud - ; DT SEAHYMN ; Mudcat 23386 ; A.L. Lloyd]

A.L. Lloyd wrote The Seamen’s Hymn for a BBC docudrama, to the tune of a Welsh hymn.

John Roberts and Tony Barrand sang The Seamen’s Hymn on their 1973 album Across the Western Ocean. They noted:

The British sailor, and indeed the British public in general, felt a great loss with the death of Horatio, Viscount Nelson, at Trafalgar. He was a man as much admired by the proletariat as by the aristocracy, and after his death the penny broadsides lamenting his untimely end were among thew “best sellers”.

This hymn comes to us from the singing of Louis Killen, who tells us that it was put together by A.L. Lloyd for a Trafalgar Day BBC radio program. He fitted the words to a shape-note hymn tune in the collection of a Welsh minister. Though not from the period of the packet ships, it does echo an attitude and sentiment common to the time, and we feel that it deserves its place here.

Gordon Bok, Jon Eberhard, Louis Killen, Don McLean and Andy Wallace sang Seaman’s Hymn in 1974 on the Hudson River Sloop Restauration charity album Clearwater.

Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman sang this as Nelson’s Dearh on their 2002 CD Away From It All. They noted:

Bert Lloyd found a snippet of the song and enlarged it a little. Dave first got this song from Peter Bellamy in the 1980s. We understand the “folk process” has changed Bert’s tune a bit over the years.


John Roberts and Tony Barrand sing The Seamen’s Hymn

Come all you brave seamen,
Wherever you’re bound,
And always let Nelson’s
Proud memory go round.

And pray that the wars
And the tumult shall cease,
For the greatest of gifts
Is a sweet, lasting peace.

May the Lord put an end
To these cruel old wars,
And bring peace and contentment
To all our brave tars!