First line - You landsmen all come rist [sic] to me …"
You landsmen all come list to me
To a fearful tale of the raging sea
The good ship "London" for Australia's shore
With emigrants but now no more
December thirtieth we sailed away,
From Gravesend Bay with hearts so gay -
Shook hands with friends, kissed parents kind,
Sweethearts and old England left behind
Chorus With Captain Martin of the "London" brave
Two hundred and twenty sank beneath the wave.
Our Captain said he'd 'bout the ship
And return to Plymouth for to refit,
But the sea was raging mountains high [sic]
From the Bay of Biscay we could not fly.
Stout hearted Seamen paled with fear,
Poor mothers wept for their children dear,
When the sea dashed through the engine room
And put out the fire we knew our doom.
The pumps we worked but all in vain,
Brave Captain Martin with grief and pain
Said, all must for the worst prepare
They then fell on their knees in prayer
Good Mr Draper, a minister,
On board the ship a passenger,
He prayed aloud their souls to save,
Soon doomed to sink in the briney wave.
We lower'd a boat from the vessels side,
With nineteen men to battle with the tide,
We called our Captain, but all in vain,
Saying with those on board I will remain.
I wish you God-speed to the land
By these poor souls I'll die like a man,"
Brave Gustavus Brook work'd till hope was o'er
And the ship went down to rise no more.
Nineteen escaped in a boat that night,
For twenty hours no ship in sight,
Our boat at last by a ship was spied,
When took on board with joy we cried.
At Falmouth we were put on shore,
And thanked our Maker o'er and o'er;
Such a dreadful wreck we seldom hear,
For those that's lost pray shed a tear.
Notes on the Song and Its Historical Background:
This is one of several songs dealing with the wreck of the London. See Narrative Set NS006 ~ Loss of the SS London.