Sailor's Complaint (The)

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X:1 T:Sailor's Complaint, The M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air N:George Frideric Handel B:Watts - The Musical Entertainer vol. 1 (1740) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G V:1 B d|c2 BA G F|G2A2 B d|c2 BA G F|G4 B d| c2 BA G F|G2A2 B d|c2 BA G F|G4 c B| e2 ed cB|A2 A2 BA|G2E2 F G|D4 A B| c2 ed c B|A2A2 BA|G2 A B c A|G4|| V:2 clef=bass G,2|A,2D2D,2|E,2F,2G,B,,|A,,2D,2D,,2|G,,4G,2| A,2D2D,2|E,2F,2G,G,,|A,,2D,2D,,2|G,,4G,2| C2 CB,A,G,|F,2 D,2z2|E,2C,2A,,2|D,2 D,E,F,G,| E,2 C,B,,A,,G,,|D,2D,2D,2|E,2D,2D,,2|G,,4||

SAILOR'S COMPLAINT, THE. AKA and see "Hosier's Ghosts," "Storm (The)," "Tempest (4) (The)." English, Air (3/4 time). G Major (Watts): F Major (Chappell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B. The melody is an old one, dating probably to the 1720s when it accompanied a text with a nautical subject beginning “How happy are young lovers.” It was used again in the ballad opera Robin Hood (1730) for the song "We are wiser than the Miser", and yet again in The Prisoner’s Opera (1730), replacing the original melody for the song "Welcome, Welcome, Brother Debtor." In 1731 the same tune was used in George Lillo’s ballad opera Silvia for a song about a tempest at sea. It's use as a vehicle for the song "The Sailor's Complaint" continues the nautical connections with this melody. However, numerous other songs were also written to it, including Richard Glover's "Hosier's Ghosts” (ca. 1739) and “The Storm,” “The Tempest,” or G.A. Stevens' “Cease Rude Boreas,” the latter a very popular song frequently anthologized. The air appears in Walsh's British Musical Miscellany, vol. iv and arrangements have been attributed to composer George Frideric Handel.

Come and listen to my ditty,
All ye jolly hearts of gold;
Lend a brother Tar your pity,
Who was once so stout and bold.
But the arrows of Cupid,
Alas! have made me rue;
Sure, true love was ne’er so treated,
As am I by scornful Sue.

See note for "Hosier's Ghosts" for more.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 2), 1859; p. 165. Watts (The Musical Entertainer, vol. 1), 1740.

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