> Peter Bellamy > Songs > You Gentlemen of England

You Gentlemen of England/Boston / Neptun's Raging Fury

[ Roud 18526 ; Ballad Index WT201 ; Bodleian Roud 18526 ; Wiltshire 713 ; trad.]

Neptun's Raging Fury: or The Gallant Seaman's Sufferings is a broadside in the Bodleian Libraries. The Bodleian index lists the author as Martin Parker, but no author appears on the broadside itself. They date their copy somewhere around 1700.

Peter Bellamy sang You Gentlemen of England in 1969 on his second LP, Fair England's Shore, and on his privately issued cassette of 1982, The Maritime England Suite. He notes:

You Gentlemen of England first appeared in the Pepys collection; this set of words comes from Modern Street Ballads in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, and the tune I borrowed from Fred Jordan's We Shepherds Are the Best of Men, a close relation to this song.

Graham and Sheila Nelmes sang You Gentlemen of England in 1983 on their Traditional Sound Recordings album High Is the Tower. They noted:

In the 17th century Martin Parker was one fo the most prolific songwriters. You Gentlemen of England—again from Chappell [Popular Music of the Olden Time]—is derived from his original When Stormy Winds Do Blow, which also provides the refrain for several other ballads.

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

Neptune's Raging Fury: or, the Gallant Seaman's Sufferings.

Being a Relation of their Perils and Dangers, and of the extraordinary Hazards they undergo in their noble Adventures. Together with their undaunted Valour and rare Constancy in all their Extremities: and the manner of their Rejoicing on Shore, at their return home. Tune of, When the Stormy Winds do Blow, &c.

You gentlemen of England / that live at home at ease,
Full little do you think upon / the danger of the Seas;
Give ear unto the Mariners, / and they will plainly show,
The cares and the fears / when the stormy winds do blow.

All you that will be Sea-men, / must bear a valiant heart,
For when you come upon the Seas, / you must not think to start,
Nor once to be faint-hearted, / in hail, rain, or snow,
Nor to shrink nor to shrink / when the stormy winds do blow.

The bitter storms and tempests / poor Sea-men must endure,
Both day and night, with many a fright / we seldom rest secure;
Our sleep it is disturbed, / with visions strange to know,
And with dreams on the streams, / when the stormy winds do blow.

In claps of roaring thunder, / which darkness doth enforce,
We often find our ships to stray / beyond our wanted course;
Which causeth great distractions, / and sinks our hearts full low,
'Tis in vain to complain / when the stormy winds do blow.

Sometimes in Neptune's bosom / our ship is tost in waves,
And every Man expecting / the Sea to be their graves;
Then up aloft she mounteth, / and down again so low;
'Tis with waves, O with waves / when the stormy winds do blow.

Then down again we fall to prayer, / with all our might and thought,
When refuge all doth fail us, / 'tis that must bear us out,
To God we call for succour, / for he it is we know,
That must aid us, and save us / when the stormy winds do blow.

The Lawyer and the Usurer, / that fits in gowns of fur,
In closets warm can take no harm, / abroad they need not stir;
When winter fierce with cold doth pierce, / and beats with hail and snow,
We are sure to endure / when the stormy winds do blow.

We bring home costly merchandise, / and jewels of great price,
To serve our English Gallantry / with many a rare device;
To please the English Gallantry, / our pains we freely show,
For we toyl and moile / when the stormy winds do blow.

We sometime sail to the Indies, / to fetch home Spices rare,
Sometimes 'gain to France and Spain, / for Wines beyond compare;
Whilst Gallants are carousing / in Taverns on a row,
Then we sweep o'er the deep, / when the stormy winds do blow.

When Tempests are blown over, / and greatest fears are past,
Ay, weather fair, and temperate air, / we straight lye down to rest;
But when the billows tumble, / and waves do furious grow,
Then we rouse up, up we rouse / when the stormy winds do blow.

If Enemies oppose us, / when England is at Wars,
With any Foreign Nations, / we fear not wounds nor scars;
Our roaring guns shall teach 'em / our valour for to know,
Whilst they reel, in the keel, / when the stormy winds do blow.

We are no cowardly Shrinkers, / but true English Men bred,
We'll play our parts like valiant Hearts, / and never fly for dread;
We'll ply our business nimbly, / where are we come or go,
With our Mates to the Straights, / when the stormy winds do blow.

Then courage, all brave Mariners, / and never be dismayed,
Whilst we have bold adventures, / we ne'er shall want a trade;
Our Merchants will employ us / to fetch them wealth, I know;
Then be bold, work for gold, / when the stormy winds do blow.

When we return in safety, with wages for our pains,
The Tapster and the Vintner / will help to share our gains;
We'll call for Liquor roundly, / and pay before we go;
Then we'll roar on the shore, / when the stormy winds do blow.

Printed by and for C. Brown and T. Norris, and sold at the Looking-glass on London-bridge.

Peter Bellamy sings You Gentlemen of England on Fair England's Shore

You gentlemen of England who lives at home at ease,
How little do you dream about all the dangers on the seas.
So give ear unto us mariners, and we will plainly show
All our fears and our cares when the stormy winds do blow.

Should enemies oppose us while England is at war
With any foreign nation, well, we fear not wound nor scar.
Our roaring guns will teach them our valour for to know
As she reels on her keel while the stormy winds do blow.

And the sailor must have courage, no danger must he shun,
In every kind of weather still his course he has to run;
Now mounted on the high top-mast, how dreadful 'tis below,
Then we ride with the tide while the stormy winds do blow.

But when the danger's over and safe we come on shore
The horrors of the tempest, well, we think of them no more.
For the Flowing Bowl invites us and joyfully we go;
All day we drink away though the stormy winds do blow.

Peter Bellamy sings You Gentlemen of England on The Maritime England Suite

You gentlemen of England who live at home at ease,
How little do you dream about the dangers of the seas.
So give ear unto us mariners, and we will plainly show
All our fears and our cares when the stormy winds do blow.

Should enemies oppose us when England is at war
With any foreign nation we fear not wound nor scar.
For our roaring guns do teach them our valour for to know
While she reels on her keel and the stormy winds do blow.

And the sailor must have courage, no danger must he shun
In any kind of weather still his course he has to run;
Now mounted on the high top-mast, how dreadful 'tis below,
As we ride with the tide and the stormy winds do blow.

But when the danger is over and safe we come on shore
Then the horrors of the tempest, well, we think of them no more.
For the flowing bowl do invite us and joyfully we go;
Then all day we drink away though the stormy winds do blow.

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.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origin: Bay of Biscay-o + Neptune's Raging Fury.