Modern Street Ballads


On the second day of August, eighteen hundred and one,
We sail’d with Lord Nelson to the port of Boulogne,
For to cut out their shipping, which was all in vain,
For to our misfortune, they were all moored and chained.

Our boats being well mann’d, at eleven at night,
For to cut away their shipping, except they would fight,
But the grape from their batteries so smartly did play,
Nine hundred brave seamen killed and wounded there lay.

We hoisted our colours, and so boldly them did spread
With a British flag flying at our royal mast-head,
For the honour of England, we will always maintain,
While bold British seamen plough the watery main.

Exposed to the fire of the enemy she lay,
While ninety bright pieces of cannon did play,
Where many a brave seaman then lay in his gore,
And the shot from their batteries so smartly did pour.

Our noble commander, with heart full of grief,
Used every endeavour to afford us relief,
No ship could assist us, as well you may know,
In this wounded condition, we were toss’d to and fro.

And you who relieve us the Lord will you bless,
For relieving poor sailors in time of distress,
May the Lord put an end to all cruel wars,
And send peace and contentment to all British tars.

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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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