Download Midi File
John Renfro Davis
|There are two different tunes named The Bay of Biscay, though interestingly, both concern shipwrecks. This tune is the older of the two. It is based on a tune by John Phillips, circa 1660 Neptune's Raging Fury. This tune is also known as Ye Gentlemen of England.
The Bay of Biscay is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in southeastern Europe, bounded by France and Spain. The coastline varies from rocky cliffs to sandy beaches. Winds and currents make navigation difficult.
Ye gentlemen of England who live home at your ease,
It's little do you think of the dangers of the seas;
When we receive our orders we are obliged to go
On the main to proud Spain where
the stormy winds do blow.
Was on the fourth of August from Spithead we set sail
With Ramely and Company blest with a pleasant gale;
We sailed along together in the Bay of Biscay, Oh,
Where a dreadful storm it did arise and
the stormy wind did blow.
The Ramely she left us, she could no longer stay
And by distress of weather from us she bore away;
When she arrived at Gibraltar they told the people so
How they thought we were all lost at the Bay of Biscay, Oh.
Kind heaven did protect her, it was not quite so bad,
First we lost our foremast, and then we lost our flag.
And then we lost our mainmast, one of our guns also
And the men, we lost ten on the Bay of Biscay, Oh.
When the mainmast started, it gave a dreadful stroke,
In our starboard quarter, a large hole did it broke.
Then the seas came battering in, our guns soon overflow
So boldly she plowed it on the Bay of Biscay, Oh.
The night being dark and dreary, at twelve o'clock that night
Our captain in the forecastle he was killed then outright.
The ring upon his finger in pieces burst in two
There he laid until next day when we overboard him threw.
The storm it being abated, we rigged up jury mast
And steered it for Gibraltar, where we arrived at last
They said it was a dismal sight as ever they did know
We forced to drink wine and drowned all our woe.
Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia
See Bibliography for full information.