Spanish Ladies

Melody - Melody - Melody - "Spanish Ladies"

Farewell and adieu unto you Spanish ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain;
For it's we've received orders for to sail for old England,
But we hope very soon we shall see you again.

We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors,
We'll rant and we'll roar across the salt seas,
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five leagues.

Then we hove our ship to the wind at sou'-west, my boys,
We hove our ship to our soundings for to see;
So we rounded and sounded, and got forty-five fathoms,
We squared our main yard, up channel steered we.

Now the first land we made it is called the Deadman,
Then Ram Head off Plymouth, Start, Portland and Wight;
We sailed by Beachy, by Fairlee and Dungeness,
Until we came abreast of the South Foreland Light.

Then the signal was made for the grand fleet for to anchor,
All in the downs that night for to meet;
Then it's stand by your stoppers, see clear your shank-painters,
Haul all your clew garnets, stick out tacks and sheets.

Now let every man toss off a full bumper,
And let every man toss off a full bowl;
And we'll drink and be merry and drown melancholy,
Singing, here's a good health to all true-hearted souls.

This song's number of variants, suggest that it really is very old indeed. Of all the versions that exist, the first melody in the major key given here is probably the best known nowadays. For its topographical lyrics, 'Spanish Ladies' is fascinating and gives a vivid picture of ships under sail in the English Channel. The 'Grand Fleet' was the old name for the Channel Fleet, 'Deadman' and 'Fairlee' are sea names for Dodman Point near Plymouth and Fairlight Hill near Hastings, and Ushant is the Ile d'Ouessant off Brest in France. Two variants of the last line are interesting. The first states: 'But we hope very soon we shall see you again' and the second: 'And perhaps never more we shall see you again' obviously two different batches of Spanish Ladies!

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