#01561
The Loss Of The Rammelly (Kenneth Peacock)

It happened on a certain day
When the Rammelly was forced away,
When the wind came down a dreadful shock,
And the sea broke over her fore-top.
When the wind came down a dreadful shock,
And the sea broke over her fore-top.

Helm's a-lee, our ship won't stay,
It carried our fore-mast clean away,
She won't stay nor yet won't wear,
Nor gather any headway for to steer.
She won't stay nor yet won't wear,
Nor gather any headway for to steer.

Our captain he cried, "Bold Britons all,
Come listen awhile as I do call,
La'nch out your boats your lives to save
Or else the sea will prove your grave.
La'nch out your boats your lives to save
Or else the sea will prove your grave."

Overboard our boats they tossed,
Some got in and some got lost,
There were some in one and some more in another,
The ones down below they all got smothered.
There were some in one and some more in another,
The ones down below they all got smothered.

When this sad news from Plymouth came
The Rammelly was lost and all her men,
There were only nine left to tell the tale
How she behavèd in the gale.
There were only nine left to tell the tale
How she behavèd in the gale.

Come all you pretty fair maids and weep with me
Who lost your lovers in the Rammelly,
May the Lord restore them when they cry,
And send them glory from on high!
May the Lord restore them when they cry,
And send them glory from on high!

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Loss Of The Ramillies [Laws K1] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from Mrs Charlotte Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL and James Decker [1909-1993] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.954-955, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected as Loss Of The Ramillies from Richard Hines of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, and published in Ballads And Sea Songs From Nova Scotia by W Roy Mackenzie (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1928)

Kenneth Peacock noted that this rare old English shipwreck ballad may be regarded as the prototype for all the later sea-disaster ballads composed in Newfoundland and the Maritimes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The 84-gun, wood-hull Royal Katherine was built at the Woodwich Dockyard in England in 1664. In 1706, after considerable action in the second and third Anglo-Dutch wars, she was rebuilt and renamed the HMS Ramillies. More than a half century later she wrecked off Devon on February 15, 1760, while returning to Portsmouth ahead of a gale, she piled onto rocks off Bolt Head in Devonshire. Only 26 of her 725 crew survived.
~ From Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia



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