You Gentlemen of England

Melody - Traditional

Martin Parks

You gentlemen of England,
That live at home at ease,
How little do you think upon
The dangers of the seas;
Give ear unto the mariners,
And they will plainly show
All the cares and the fears
When the stormy winds do blow.

The sailor must have courage,
No danger must he shun;
In every kind of weather
His course he still must run;
Now mounted on the top-mast,
How dreadful 'tis below:
Then we ride, as the tide,
When the stormy winds do blow.
  If enemies oppose us,
And England is at war
With any foreign nation,
We fear not wounds nor scar.
To humble them, come on, lads,
Their flags we'll soon lay low;
Clear the way for the fray,
Tho' the stormy winds do blow.

Sometimes in Neptune's bosom
Our ship is toss'd by waves,
And every man expecting
The sea to be our graves;
Then up aloft she's mounted,
And down again so low,
In the waves, on the seas,
When the stormy winds do blow.

But when the danger's over,
And safe we come on shore,
The horrors of the tempest
We think of then no more;
The flowing bowl invites us,
And joyfully we go
All the day drink away,
Tho' the stormy winds do blow.

A well-known sea song of the seventeenth century, 'You Gentlemen of England' is perhaps even better known by its last line 'While the stormy winds do blow'. It first appeared in 1686. In one collection of the period the song has the following descriptive heading: 'The praise of sailors here set forth, with their hard fortunes which doe befall them on the seas, when landmen sleep safe in their beds: to a pleasant new tune.' The tune is certainly pleasant but the present editors thought it not quite pleasant enough to be sustained through the original fourteen verses that appear in the Ritson manuscript. So we limit ourselves to five!

| Deutsche Volkslieder | Ahnenforschung | Ferienaufenthalt | Folksongs | Hymns | Genealogy | Pacific Holiday | HOME PAGE | SEARCH | Email |