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The Saucy Arethusa


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Come all ye jolly sailors bold Whose hearts are cast in honour's mould
While English glory I unfold Hurrah for the Arethusa

She is a frigate tight and brave As ever stemmed the dashing wave
Her men are staunch to their favorite launch
And when the foe shall meet our fire Sooner than strike we'll all expire
On board of the Arethusa

'Twas with the spring fleet she went out The English Channel to cruise about
When four French sail in show so stout Bore down on the Arethusa

The famed Belle Poole straight a head did lie The Arethusa seemed to fly
Not a sheet or a tack or a brace did she slack
Though the Frenchmen laughed and thought it stuff
But they knew not the handful of men how tough
On board of the Arethusa.

On deck five hundred men did dance The stoutest they could find in France
We with two hundred did advance On board of the Arethusa.

Our captain hailed the Frenchman Ho The Frenchmen then cried out Hallo
Bear down d'ya see to our Admiral's lee No no says the Frenchman that can't be
Then I must lug you along with me Says the saucy Arethusa.

The fight was off the Frenchman's land We forced them back upon their strand
For we fought till not a stick would stand Of the gallant Arethusa

And now we've driven the foe ashore Never to fight with Britons more
Let each fill a glass to his favorite lass A health to the captain and officers true
And all that belong to the jovial crew On board of the Arethusa     

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.