Nightingale in the East, The
DESCRIPTION: "On a dark lonely night on the Crimea's dark shore, There had been bloodshed and strife on the morning before." "Miss Nightingale" comforts the wounded and dying. "One of heaven's best gifts is Miss Nightingale."
EARLIEST DATE: before 1860 (Bodleian broadsides Harding B 11(2707) and Harding B 11(2708))
KEYWORDS: war injury nonballad
1853-1856 - Crimean War (Britain and France actively at war with Russia 1854-1855)
Nov 5, 1854 - Battle of Inkerman clears the way for the siege of Sevastopol (the city fell in the fall of 1855)
FOUND IN: Britain
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Leslie Shepard, _The Broadside Ballad_, Legacy Books, 1962, 1978, p. 155, "Nightingale in the East" (reproduction of a broadside page)
Bodleian,Harding B 11(2707), "The Nightingale in the East," A Ryle & Co. (London), 1845-1866; also Harding B 11(2708) [an issue nearly identical to the preceding; they may be part of the same run with a stop-press correction undertaken partway through the run]; Firth c.17(208), "The Nightingale in the East," W. S. Fortey, London, 1858-1885; Firth c.14(70), H. Such, London, 1863-1885
cf. "The Cottage and Water Mill" (tune, according to Bodleian broadside Harding B 11(2708))
NOTES: Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was one of the few genuine heroes of the Crimean War; in 1854, she took a company of nurses to the Crimea, and her efforts beginning at the Battle of Inkerman at least slightly reduced the death toll (the Crimean War saw many new technologies come into play, and was fought by generals who did not understand them; the result was high casualty totals, often involving severe wounds -- and the British and French, fighting at the end of a long supply line, had too few surgeons, too few supplies, and a dreadful lack of camp sanitation. Almost any wound could be a death sentence in such conditions. Florence Nightingale couldn't cure all the problems, but she at least showed what might be possible if someone tired).
This song seems to have been quite popular with the broadside publishers; it came out soon after the war, There seems to be only one reference to it in tradition, and that dubious. When in doubt, we index -- but my doubts are pretty strong. - RBW
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