The Ship I Love

Melody - & text: Felix McGlennon

A gallant ship was lab'ring
Lab'ring in the sea;
The Captain stood amongst his crew,
"Gather around," said he.
"This ship is doomed and sinking,
There on the lee is land,
Then launch the boats and pull away,
But here at my post I'll stand.
Goodbye, my lads, goodbye!"
  The crew stood hesitating,
Their hearts were staunch and true;
With tear-dimm'd eyes spoke up the mate,
"Sir, we will die with you!"
The Captain cried, "What? Mutiny?
I am the captain here!
So launch the boats and puII away,
And think of your children dear.
Goodbye, my lads, goodbye!"

I'll stick to the ship, lads,
You save your lives,
I've no one to love me,
You've children and wives;
You take the boats, lads,
Praying to heaven above,
But I'll go down in the angry deep,
Wirh the ship I love.

This music-hall song was introduced to the great British public by Tom Costello and enjoyed a huge success. The rather perky little tune seems a bit out of place accompanying such a solemn story. One can't help feeling that the composer had the melody in mind for something else. Felix McGlennon was an Irishman who made a great success as a composer of popular songs in the late nineteenth century. He was not only popular in England, he also had a great following in the United States where, like Mark Twain, he once had the sobering experience of reading his own obituary in the newspapers.

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