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British Man O War


courtesy of

It was down in yonder meadow I carelessly did stray
There I beheld a lady fair All with a sailor gay
He said, My lovely fair maid, I soon must leave this shore
To cross the briny ocean In a British Man-of-War

Fair Susan fell to weeping Young sailor" she did say
Oh do not be so venturesome As to throw your life away
For when that I am twenty-one I shall receive my store
So I pray you do not venture On a British Man-of-War

Oh, Susan lovely Susan The truth to you I'll tell
The British Flag insulted is All England knows it well
I may be crowned with laurels All like some jolly tar
So I'll face the walls of China In a British Man-of-War

Oh do not be so venturesome As to face the cruel Chinese
For they will prove as treacherous As any Portuguese
And by some deadly dagger You may receive a scar
So William do not venture On a British Man-of-War

Oh Susan lovely Susan The time will quickly pass
Will you come to the Ferry-House To take a parting glass
For my ship-mates they are ready To row me from the shore
And I'll fight for England's glory In a British Man-of-War

Then he took out his handkerchief And he tore it clean in two
Saying, Take this dearest Susan And I'll do the same by you
When the bullets they surround me And the cannons they do roar
I'll fight for Fame and Susan On a British Man-of-War

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.