A Sailor's Consolation

            Words: Charles Dibdin*; Music: Traditional


            Dibdin wrote many "sailors' songs" back in the 1700s in England.  Not many have gone into tradition. Bob Zentz of Norfolk, Virginia, sent me this one las summer; he had set it to the tune of The Recruited Collier, which it fits handsomely.  He played it on a concertina, which the cellamba here reflects.  Thanks for another good one, brother Bob.

            * The only place I have seen this poem in print had it attributed to William Pitt.

Gordon & cellamba.


            One night came on a hurricane

            The sea was mountains rolling,

            When Barney Buntline turned his quid,

            And said to Billy Bowline:

            "A strong nor'wester's blowing, Bill,

            Hark! Don't you hear it roar now?

            Lord help them! How I pities all

            Unhappy folks on shore now.


            "Foolhardy chaps that live in towns;

            What dangers they are all in,

            And now lie shaking in their beds

            for fear the roof should fall in.

            Poor creatures, how they envy us

            And wishes, I've a notion,*

            (*Also seen: "And wish, as I've a notion…")

            For our good luck in such a storm

            To be upon the ocean.


            "And as for them who're out all day

            On business from their houses,

            And late at night are coming home

            To cheer their babes and spouses;

            While you and I, Bill, on the deck

            Are comfortably lying,

            My eyes! What tiles and chimney-pots

            Around their heads are flying!


            And very often have we heard

            How men are killed and undone

            By overturns of carriages,

            BY thieves and fires in London.

            We know what risks all landsmen run

            From noblemen to tailors;

            Then Bill, let us thank Providence

            That you and I are sailors."

A Sailor's Consolation  is recorded on the album Schooners