Hosier's Ghosts

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X:1 T:Hosier's Ghosts M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air B:Burke Thumoth - 12 English and 12 Irish Airs with Variations (c. 1745, No. 4, p. 8-9) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D fa|g2 fedc|d2e2 fa|g2 fedc|d4 fa| g2 fedc|d2 e2 fa|g2 fedc|d4 gf| {ga}b2 (ba) (gf)|{g}f2e2fe|d2 cBcd|A4 ef| g2f2 ge|d2e2 (d'c'/b/)|a2 gfge|d4|| fa|gc'd'fec|d2{f}Te2 f/a/g/f/|(gc'd'fge)|d4 ga| (g/a/b/c'/) d'f (g/e/d/c/)|(d/f/e/d/) (e/g/f/e/) (fa/g/f/)|(g/a/b/c'/) (d'/c'/d'/f/) ge|d4 (gf)| {ga}b2 a2 (b/a/g/f/)|{g}Tf2 e2 (g/b/f/e/)|d2 (c/d/c/B/) cd|A4 ef| (g/b/a/g/) (b/a/g/f/) (g/e/d/c/)|d2{f}e2 d/(d'/c'/b/)|a2 gf (a/g/f/e/)|d4|| f/a/g/f/|(g/a/b/c'/) d'2 (g/e/d/c/)|dDeEFa|Dc'd'FgE|D4 fa|(g/a/b/c'/) (d'/c'/d'/c'/) (g/e/d/c/)| (d/f/e/d/) e2 (f/a/g/f/)|g2 fedc|d4||gf|{ga}b2a2 (b/g/a/)f/ {g}Tf2e2 (f/a/f/d/)|B2 cd (e/4d/4c/4) (d/4c/5B/4)|A4 EF| G2 (FAGE)|D2 TE2 D/d/c/B/|A2 GFGED6||

HOSIER'S GHOST(S). AKA - "Cease Rude Boreas," "Come and Listen to My Ditty," "Admiral Hosier's Ghost," "Hossier's Ghost." AKA and see "Sailor's Complaint (The)." English, Air (3/4 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The song "Admiral Hosier's Ghost" was written by poet Richard Glover (1712-1785) in 1740 and appeared on various song-sheets and publications, set to the earlier tune of "Come and Listen to My Ditty," an air that proved to be the vehcile for numerous 18th century songs. In addition to Burk Thumoth's c. 1745 12 English and 12 Irish Airs with Variations, the song appears in John Sadler's Muses Delight (London, 1754), John Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 6 (London, 1760), and Ritson's Select Collection of English Songs (London, 1783). The song was set by Georg Friedrich Handel (1685 - 1759) for his 24 English Songs (HWV 228). See note for "Sailor's Complaint (The)" for more.

Glover's song was in protest of a real event, the blockade in 1726 of the west-Indian port of Porto Bello to prevent the Spanish treasure ships from sailing. Hosier sailed with a fleet of some twenty ships and could have captured the town easily, but he was under orders not to attack it. lest it provoke war with Spain. Thus Hosier and his fleet spend months in idle cruising of the mosquito-infested coast, where some 3,000 to 4,000 sailors died of Yellow Fever. Admiral Hosier was among the casualties, as were the two admirals that followed him in command. His remains were temporarily buried in the ballast of his flagship, the Breda, and were transported to England later in the year, where he was given a grand funeral. The song was written following the capture of Porto Bello by Admiral Vernon in 1739 (with just 6 ships), in protest of the governments previous failure of will that led to so many British deaths. It begins:

As near Porto-Bello lying
On the gently swelling flood,
At midnight with streamers flying
Our triumphant navy rode;
There while Vernon sate all-glorious
From the Spaniards' late defeat;
And his crews, with shouts victorious,
Drank success to England's fleet,

Percy, in his Reliques gives:

This was a party [i.e. political] song written by the ingenious author of Leonidas, on the taking of Porto Bello from the Spaniards by Admiral Vernon, Nov. 22, 1739. The case of Hosier, which is here so pathetically represented, was briefly this. In April 1726, that commander was sent with a strong fleet into the Spanish West Indies, to block up the galleons in the ports of that country, or, should they presume to come out, to seize and carry them into England. He accordingly arrived at the Bastimentos near Porto Bello, but being employed rather to overawe than to attack the Spaniards, with whom it was probably not our interest to go to war, he continued long inactive on that station, to his own great regret. He afterwards removed to Carthagena, and remained cruising in these seas, till far the greater part of his men perished deplorably by the diseases of that unhealthy climate. This brave man, seeing his best officers and men thus daily swept away, his ships exposed to inevitable destruction, and himself made the sport of the enemy, is said to have died of a broken heart. Such is the account of Smollett, compared with that of other less party writers.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 6), 1760; p. 10. Thumoth (12 English and 12 Irish Airs with Variations), c. 1745; No. 4, pp. 8-9.

Recorded sources: -

See also listing at:
Hear Handel's setting of the song on youtube.com [1]

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