On Board Of The Victory (Kenneth Peacock)

Oh, I am a fair young lady
whose fortune has been great,
My tongue has scarce been able
my sorrows to relate,
For loving of a young man
beneath my own degree,
He was forced all from my arms
on board of the Victory.

His eyes like shining diamonds,
the arrows on the moon,
His cheeks were like two roses
bloomed in the month of June,
He was manly in proportion
to every degree,
And my heart lies in his bosom
on board of the Victory.

It was my cruel parents
who had him sent away,
It was my cruel father
who sent my love to sea.
If he were born of noble blood
and me of a low degree
They never would have sent that lad I love
on board of the Victory.

As I lay on my pillow
I dreamed I was at rest,
I dreamed I was a-lyng all
on my love's sweet breast,
I dreamed I was enjoying
my love's sweet company,
To be pulled close in his arms
on board of the Victory.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, On Board Of The Victory, printed by J Pitts (London) between 1819 and 1844, and archived in the Bodleian Library of Broadside Ballads, Harding B 11(2846) ....####
Collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from Mrs Charlotte Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond , NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.484-485, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that a three-verse variant from Nova Scotia appears in Helen Creighton's [1899-1989] Maritime Folk Songs. The tunes are different, but their melodic contours suggest they came from a common ancestor.

Notes: Launched in 1765, the Victory is best known as Admiral Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar. She was commissioned in 1778 and retired from frontline duty in 1812. Still manned in dry dock by the Royal Navy, Victory is the world's oldest commissioned warship.


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