Wreck of the London (bar484)

Synopsis: The story of the loss of the SS London in 1866

Now I'm going to say a word of the ship. wreck that occurred,
On hoard the steamship " London," which no doubt you all have heard,
It is fearful to till of the sorrows that befel,
Of this ill-fated vessel and the passengers as well,
Oh, they danced with right good glee, as they sailed out on the sea:
Never dreaming for a moment but safe landed they would be;
But their hopes they soon were blighted as they looked both far and wide.
When they found their chance was hopeless in that fearful running tide.

They sailed away that mottling so beautiful and bright,
With cheerful hearts they dashed along, till land was far from sight,
Thinking of friends they'd meet so dear, and of welcome when arrived,
But, alas ! for them 'twas not to be, of these hopes they were deprived;
For a gale it Came upon them that made each heart in anguish quail,
As it dealt out death and destruction and tore down every sail,
It was then the shout that rent the air, so very will and high, "
"O God ! look down upon us all, if now that we must die,

Now when they found the ship was sinking an' death was drawing nigh,
The Captain did his best to save, and BROOKES thought he'd have a try,
For some of the crew was stupid and stood there like a stump,
But G V. BROOKES kept his spirits up, and still stuck at the pumps,
And up to his knees in water, with nothing on his feet.
He worked away I'm told all day, for he knew that life was sweet;
But when he found his task was o'er, to the Steward he did say,
"Give my love to my Melbourne friends when I am far away,"

Notes on the Song and Its Historical Background:

This is one of several songs about the loss of the London. See Narrative Set NS006 ~ The Loss of the SS London 1866

 

The illustration at the top of the ballad shows a steamer of a much earlier design than that of the SS London.