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[Note 106.1] The Eagle was built in 1816 [ref: Ransom, P; Bell's Comet: How a Little Paddle Steamer Changed the Course of History, p122] Ransom  suggests that the vessels depicted here are probably The Eagle with the Swift in the background to the right; and that the American ship in the background to the left is artistic licence.[Ransom p108].

The Early Clyde Steamboats website however suggests that it might be the Argyle another Tyne-built vessel [ref:]
[Note 106.1] The song seems to describe a pleasure trip. The lines "Now when they to the Pier drew nigh, / The guns did fire and streamers fly ;/ In a moment all was hue and cry, / Amang the folks at Sunderland" in verse 2 suggest that it might have been the steamer's first visit to Sunderland.

[Note 106.2] "Barber's 'water-proof silk hat" - J Barbour and sons was founded in South Shields in 1894, long before this song was published. However this line rasies the possibility that the family were producing waterproof garments in the area before the company was established.

[Note 106.3]  "And bloody noses unawares, were got in sight of Sunderland" - In rough weather the paddle on one side of the boat might rise completely out of the water leading to violent jolting of the vessel and its passengers.

The song was long-lived and is included in The Tyneside Songster of 1899. (Roud B224474)


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