Bay of Biscay, Oh (Ye Gentlemen of England II) (The Stormy Winds Did Blow) [Laws K3]
DESCRIPTION: The singer's ship and the Rameley set out from Spithead. The two ships are separated by a storm in the Bay of Biscay. The Rameley, arriving at Gibraltar, reports the other ship lost, but at last it comes in, having lost mast, captain, and ten crewmembers
EARLIEST DATE: 1905 (GreigDuncan1)
KEYWORDS: sea ship storm
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar) Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Laws K3, "Bay of Biscay, Oh (Ye Gentlemen of England II) (The Stormy Winds Did Blow)"
GreigDuncan1 35, "The Bay of Biscay" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 52, "Bay of Biscay Oh" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 399, BAYBISC*
cf. "Ye Gentlemen of England (I)" [Laws K2]
cf. "Ye Gentlemen of England (III)" (basis for first verse) and references there
cf. "The Plains of Waterloo" (tune, according to GreigDuncan1)
NOTES: Not to be confused with the lover's-ghost-returned song "Bay of Biscay." - (PJS)
Creighton-NovaScotia: Also not to be confused with "[The] Bay of Biscay [O]" ["Loud roared the dreadful thunder"] by Andrew Cherry about a disabled ship rescued.
For what may be the first of this family of ballads see broadside Bodleian, Douce Ballads 2(167b), "Neptune's Raging Fury" or "The Gallant Seaman's Sufferings" ("You gentlemen of England, that live at home at ease"), C. Brown (London), 1695-1707, by Martin Parker. The first verse is
You Gentlemen of England that live at home at ease,
Full little do you think upon the danger of the Seas;
Give ear unto the Marriners[sic] and they will plainly show,
The cares and the fears when the stormy winds do blow.
The subject is the general plight of seamen, as compared to that of landsmen. No specific incident is mentioned. - BS
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