I Am a Brisk and Sprightly Lad
DESCRIPTION: "I am a brisk and sprightly lad, But just come home from sea, sir... A sailor's life for me, sir." "Yeo, yeo, yeo, Whilst the bosun pipes all hands With a yeo, yeo, yeo!" The sailor loves foreign ports, and promises to fight for the nation when attacked
EARLIEST DATE: 1792 (The Manchester Songster: Being a Collection of the Most Favorite Songs)
KEYWORDS: sailor battle money
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Shay-AmericanSeaSongsAndChanteys, p. 138, "I Am a Brisk and Sprightly Lad" (1 text)
NOTES [105 words]: This is another of those sea-poems Shay seems to have dug up somewhere; I have not found it in tradition.
Jim Dixon pointed out the Manchester Songster printing; he also noted a sheet music fragment on Google Books that says that this was "Sung by Mrs. Jordan in the Spoil'd Child."
The boast about each man "hasten[ing] to his guns" would surely have sounded very strange to the sailors who fought in the Napoleonic era -- it is estimated that half of the men in Nelson's fleet were impressed, and more were quota men. And the pay in the Royal Navy was terrible, which was why they needed the press gang even in peacetime. - RBW.
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