Modern Street Ballads


Come all gallant seamen that unite a meeting,
Attend to these lines that I’m going to relate,
And, when that you hear, it will move you with pity,
To hear how Lord Nelson, he met with his fate.
For he was a bold and undaunted commander,
As ever did sail on the ocean wide,
And he made both the French and the Spaniards surrender,
By always pouring into them a broadside.

Mourn, England, mourn; mourn and complain,
For the loss of Lord Nelson, who died on the main.

From aloft, to aloft, where he was commanding,
All by a French gun he received a ball,
And, by the contents, he got mortally wounded,
And that was the occasion of Lord Nelson’s fall.
Like an undaunted hero, exposed to the fire,
As he gave the command, on the quarter deck stood,
And to hear of his actions, you would much admire,
To see the decks covered all with human blood.

One hundred engagements he had been into,
And never, in his time, was he known to be beat,
For he had lost an arm, likewise his right eye, sir,
No powers on earth could ever him defeat.
His age, at his death, it was forty and seven,
And as long as I live, his great praises, I’ll sing,
For the whole navigation was given unto him,
Because he was loyal and true to his king.

Then up steps the doctor in a very great hurry,
And unto Lord Nelson these words he did say,
Indeed, then, my lord, I am very sorry,
To see you lying and bleeding this way,
No matter, no matter whatever about me,
My time it has come, I’m almost at the worst,
And there’s my gallant seamen who’re fighting so boldly,
Go and discharge your duty to them first.

Then, with a loud voice he called out to his captain,
Pray let me know how this battle does go,
I think that our guns continue to rattle,
Though death approaches, I very well know.
The antagonists ship has gone to the bottom,
Eighteen we’ve captured, and brought them on board,
And there are two of them quite blown out of the ocean,
So that is the news I have brought you, my Lord.

Come all gallant seamen that unite a meeting,
Always let Lord Nelson’s memory go round;
For it is your duty, when you unite a meeting,
Because he was loyal and true to the Crown;
So now to conclude, and to finish these verses,
My time it is come, I am quite at the worst,
May the heavens go with you, and ten thousand blessings,
May rest in the Fleet with you, Lord Collingwood.

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The End As I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety, by proprietor Kevin Shay, is now available in paperback.

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