Britons, Strike Home

Melody - Henry Purcell

Beaumont and Fletcher

40 second intro

Britons, strike home!
Revenge revenge your country's wrongs!
Fight! fight and record yourselves in Druids' songs!
Fight! fight and record yourselves in Druids' songs!

This song which was rendered even more often than 'Heart of Oak' when ships of the Royal Navy went into battle, first appeared in a tragedy, Bonduca (1695) for which Henry Purcell wrote the incidental music. It was composed as a solo for the 'Chief Druid'. Later, a touching reference to the song is to be found in 'A faithfull narrative of the cruel sufferings of Captain Death and his crew' by Samuel Stoakes (1757). We read that, in the course of a terrible sea-fight, 'the Master at Arms had one of his arms and part of his body torn away: in this bloody condition he was carried down to the surgeon . . . and the poor man finding himself dying, bravely in his last moments sang the song of "Britons, Strike Home" and expired with the words in his mouth.'

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