Great Britain Ashore

A humorous account of the stranding of the SS Great Britain in 1846 making jokes at the expense of the passengers and those who came to view the stranded ship.


Great Britain Ashore [Note 100.0]


There is no doubt but you have seen
The wonderful Great Britain [Note 100.1]
If not come listen to the song
In praise of her I've Written;
I do not mean to run her down,

But give her, her due promotion
For she is the best ship can be found
For sailing on the ocean

Chorus talk about your Yankee ships
For sailing round the land Mark O
The Great Britain is the best of all
For diving in the sand banks [Note 100.2]

From Liverpool she did set sail
And well she skimmed the water
But soon there came a pleasant gale
That off to Ireland brought her [Note 100.3]
There came a fog and in a bog
She stuck up to her navle
To sail away from Dundrum Bay [Note 100.4]
For some time she'll not be able

The greatest fun was in Dundrum
With all the country people.
Some thought it was St Patrick's church
Was running with a steeple
Some thought it was the Isle of Man
Was sailing to Dungannon [Note 100.5]
To take possession of the land
Upon the Bog of Allen [Note 100.6]

The nobs and passengers on board
All turned as black as mussels
While some did jump and off their rump
The ladies fell on their bustles
There was pick-a-ninnys(1) and fan-dangs(1) [Note 100.7]
Van Amburgh's strolling players [Note 100.8]
The world I'm sure it really bangs
To see them act as sailors

I do not blame or lay a charge
The noble Capt. Hoken [Note 100.9]
A handsome present her deserves
A breeches made of buckskin
His eyes I'm sure must magnify
Long letters he will write us
He missed his way in Dundram bay
And the devil take the lighthouse [Note 100.10]

Chains and cables ropes and anchors now
The captain will be able
With anchors cast, he'll keep her fast,
She broke an eight-inch cables;
To pay a visit to a friend
The President great steamship [Note 100.11]
Half way the Britain nearly went
All in a pleasant keen trip

The first spring tide, they say she'll ride,
And leave the bog behind her,
They might as well say Castle Hyde, [Note 100.12]
Is going to leave old Ireland;
Or George's Hall will go by steam
From Liverpool to Belfast
As think that ever she'll get clear
For in the mud she's stuck fast. [Note 100.13]

Full 27 steam-tug boats
The captain soon must hire
To drag her by her head and tale
Like horse lead to a bon-fire
The cable must be just the size
And thickness of a bullock
All the herrings they say in Dundrum bay
Are spawning in her stomach

Some say she's got the belly ache
And others say she's breeding
The hardships of her iron sides
Nothing can exceed then
The little dear is very ill
Bereft of all enjoyment
And ten to one if ever she
Gets over her confinement

When she is in the graving dock(1)
Just close the gates for ever
Or else she'll fly clean off the stocks(2) 
And overflow the river
Her collar bone is out of joint
For that you will not fault her
I fear she'll flood all Warren's Pint [Note 100.14]
If she lets go her water