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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'Ye Mariners of England', 'Old Joe' and 'Buffalo Gals'.

Date: 1834 - 1886
Overall: 252 x 188 mm, 0.014 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017430
Place Manufactured:Durham

User Terms

    Broadsheet featuring three ballads, 'Ye Mariners Of England', 'Old Joe' and 'Buffalo Gals'.
    The ballad 'Buffalo Gals' was published in 1844 under the title 'Lubly Fan'. It was written by one of the first black-faced minstrels, Cool White, although it was probaly based on an earlier known traditional tune. It was popular in shows throughout the United States and the location was changed accordingly to New York Gals, Charleston Gals, etc. Buffalo, therefore, refers to the city rather than the animal.
    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.

    Ye mariners of England,
    That guard our native seas,
    Whose flag has braved a thousand years
    The battle and the breeze.
    Your glorious standard launch again,
    To match another foe,
    And sweep through the deep,
    While the stormy tempests blow
    While battle rages loud and long,
    And stormy tempests blow.

    The spirit of your fathers,
    Shall start from every wave,
    For the deck it was their field of fame,
    And ocean was their grave.
    Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell,
    Your manly hearts shall glow
    As ye sweep through the deep,
    While the stormy tempests blow,
    While the battle rages loud and long.
    And the stormy tempests blow.

    Britannia needs no bulwark,
    No towers along the steep,
    Her march is o'er the mountain waves,
    Her home is on the deep.
    With thunders from her native oak,
    She quells the floods below—
    As they roar, on the shore,
    When the stormy tempests blow,
    When the battle rages loud and long,
    And the stormy tempests blow.

    The meteor flag of England.
    Shall yet terrific burn,
    Till danger's troubled night depart
    And the star of peace return.
    Then, then, ye ocean warriors,
    Our song and feast shall flow
    To the fame, of your name,
    When the storm has ceased to blow,
    When the fiery fight is heard no more,
    And the storm has ceased to blow.

    Broadsheet rhymes and verses were the cheapest prints available during the 18th and 19th century. They were sold by street sellers known as Flying Stationers, who charged a minimal fee of a penny or half-penny. They featured popular songs that were often sung in homes, inns and taverns and covered a range of themes relating to contemporary events or stories. Printed alongside the songs were woodcut illustrations. Most of the broadsheet publishers did not date or mark their works, making it difficult to pinpoint when they were produced.

    The publication of ballads was part of the commemoration and production of material about shipwrecks. Ships were part of the everyday life in the 19th century and stories about their voyages, wrecks, record breaking voyages and commissions often featured in newspapers and commemorative souvenirs.

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