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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'Hard Times Come again no More' and 'Tom Bowling'.

Date: c 1850 - c 1870
Overall: 255 x 193 mm, 0.015 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017435
Place Manufactured:London

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    Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'Hard Times Come again no More' and 'Tom Bowling'.
    The ballad 'Tom Bowling' was written and originally performed by Charles Dibdin (1745-1814). Dibdin wrote many, many songs but is particularly known for this ballad about the death of brave and virtuous sailor Tom.
    The accompanying ballad 'Hard Times Come again No More' was American song written by Stephen Foster and became popular throughout Europe and the United States. Foster later became known as the 'Father Of American Music' although he died almmost pennliess in 1864. His music is still popular today with songs as as "Oh! Susanna!' and 'Camptown Races'.

    SignificanceBroadsheets were designed as printed ephemera to be published and distributed rapidly. This also meant they were quickly disposed of with many of them not surviving the test of time. The museum's broadsheet collection is therefore a rare and valuable example of how maritime history was communicated to a wide audience, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries. They vibrantly illustrate many of the themes and myths surrounding life at sea. Some of them also detail stories about transportation, migration.
    HistoryTom Bowling

    Here a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowling,
    The darling of our crew;
    No more he'll hear the tempest howling,
    For death has brought him to.
    His form was of the manliest beauty,
    His heart was kind and soft;
    Faithful below, he did his duty,
    And now he's gone aloft.
    And now he's gone aloft

    Tom never from his word departed,
    His virtues were so rare;
    His friends were many and true-hearted
    His Poll was kind and fair;
    And then he'd sing so blithe and jolly,
    Ah! many's the time and oft,
    But mirth is turn to melancholy,
    For Tom is gone aloft.

    Yet shall poor Tom find pleasant weather,
    When He who all commands.
    Shall give (to call life's crew together)
    The word to pipe all hands,
    Thus death, who kings and tars despatches,
    In vain Tom's life hath doff'd,
    For tho' his body's under hatches.
    His soul is gone aloft.

    Charles Dibdin is best known for his nautical songs. This is in spite of the fact that he was only at sea for one brief voyage.Dibdin idealized sailors and wrote of them as "noble heroes with faithful sweethearts and wives, who often died bravely in the cause of their country". They are sentiments that now seem overly romanticized, but that were extraordinarily popular with the public and the men he wrote about. The introduction to his memoir, written by Thomas Dibdin, recalls that Dibdin attempted "to portray the rough-hewn natural characters, and stimulate the gallant excertions, of a class to whom the Country is so infintely indebted".


    LET us pause in life's peasures and count its many tears,
    While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
    Here's a song that shall linger for ever in our ears,
    Oh! hard times come again no more.


    'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
    Hard times, hard times, come again no more;
    Many days have you lingred around my cabin door,
    Oh! hard times come again no more.

    While we seek mirth and beauty, and music light and gay,
    There are frail forms fainting at the door,
    Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say,
    Oh, hard times come again no more.
    'Tis the song, &c.

    There's a pale drooping maiden who works her life away
    With a worn heart, whose better days are o'er;
    Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
    Oh, hard times come again no more.
    'Tis the song, &c.

    'Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
    'Tis a wail that is heard acroos the shore;
    'Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave,
    Oh, hard times again no more.
    'Tis the song, &c.

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    Printer: W S Fortey

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