Mudcat Café message #3996011 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166254   Message #3996011
Posted By: Steve Gardham
11-Jun-19 - 03:38 PM
Thread Name: Nancy of London (John Faulkner version?)
Subject: ADD version: Pretty Nancy of London
Here's the 1757 printing from Lord Anson's Garland.

PRETTY NANCY OF LONDON

Pretty Nancy of London, in Leadenhall-street,
Being courted by Billy, on board of the fleet:
O when that the stormy winds begin for to blow,
My heart is oppressed with sorrow and woe!

Pretty Nancy of London, my own heart's delight,
I now this kind letter unto you write;
For to acquaint you what we undergo
Upon the salt seas where the hurricanes blow.

A ship in distress is a most terrible sight,
Like an army of soldiers just going to fight.
A soldier can shun his most terrible doom,
But a sailor must submit to a watery tomb.

It was late in the evening before it was dark,
Our honoured captain he shew'd us a mark,
Of something that he could discern in the skies,
Of a terrible storm that was going to rise.

It roared like thunder, it toss'd us about,
And many a bold sailor, both gallant and stout,
Stood trembling & quaking, 'twixt hope & despair,
One moment below, and another in the air.

Early in the morning, before it was day,
Our honoured Captain unto us did say,
Be not afraid, brave boys, but be of good cheer,
If we have good sea-room, we have nothing to fear.

But when the wind blows, it makes my heart ake,
It makes all our cabins and rooms for to shake;
But what can I do, so far from the shore?
I think on my true love, what can I do more?

(Verbatim other than I have rationalised the seraph s where it occurs.)

The later print adaptations 'Nancy of Yarmouth' c1800 lack the first and last stanza.

Merely for comparison and to demonstrate the recycling that went on in the print industry, here is an equivalent couplet from a 17th century broadside printed after 1692 but could be earlier.

Fair beautiful Lady my love and delight,
Here's a Letter which I in a prison did write.