Bay of Biscay
DESCRIPTION: A ship is wrecked at night in a storm in the Bay of Biscay. At daybreak "a sail in sight appears" and the crew is rescued.
AUTHOR: Andrew Cherry (1762-1812) (source: Bodleian notes to broadside Harding B 25(903); also John Bartlett,_Familiar Quotations_, 15th ed (1980))
EARLIEST DATE: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(73))
KEYWORDS: rescue sea ship storm wreck
REFERENCES (2 citations):
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #110, p. 9, "The Bay of Biscay O!" (1 reference)
ADDITIONAL: Reginald Nettel, _Seven Centuries of Popular Song_, Phoenix House, 1956, p. 169, "(The Bay of Biscay)" (1 partial text)
Bodleian, Harding B 28(73), "The Bay of Biscay, O" ("Loud roard the dreadful thunder"), W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also Harding B 11(3128), Harding B 25(903), "In the Bay of Biscay O"; Firth b.25(71), Harding B 11(196), Harding B 15(17a), Harding B 11(192), Harding B 11(193), Harding B 25(148), "[The] Bay of Biscay O[!]"; Firth b.25(82), Firth c.12(305), Harding B 11(194), Harding B 11(195), 2806 b.10(79), 2806 c.17(22), Firth c.21(118), Firth b.27(72), "[The] Bay of Biscay"
LOCSinging, as108370, "Bay of Biscay," L. Deming (Boston), n.d.
NOTES: The tune was at least well enough known to be used for a parody (Bodleian, Harding B 16(198c), "Paddy's Wake" ("Loud howl'd each Irish mourner")) and, years later, another wreck broadside (Bodleian, Harding B 14(335), "Wreck of the ship Reform, commanded by commodore Russell" ("Loud roared the dreadful thunder")). - BS
Not to be confused with "Bay of Biscay, Oh (Ye Gentlemen of England II) (The Stormy Winds Did Blow)" [Laws K3], which also involves a rescued crew but in different circumstances, nor with the song about a sailor's life, "The Bonny Bay of Biscay-O."
Andrew Cherry's other noteworthy piece is "The Green Little Shamrock of Ireland."
According to Nettel, this was written for an opera called "Spanish Dollars," which was staged in 1805; the music was by John Davy. - RBW
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