Friday, 15 April 2016

The Admiral's Broom

Legend has it that during the Anglo-Dutch Wars the Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromp had a broom tied to his flagship's masthead to signify that he had swept the British fleet from the seas. In response the British Admiral Robert Blake (one of Cromwell's 'Generals at Sea') had a whip tied to his ship's masthead when he had defeated Tromp's fleet to show that he had whipped the Dutch.

This legend inspired the song THE ADMIRAL'S BROOM. The music was written by Frederick Bevan and the lyrics by Frederic E Weatherly, and it was made famous when it was sung by the Australian baritone Peter Dawson. The original lyrics were:
Von Tromp was an Admiral brave and bold,
The Dutchman's pride was he,
And he cried "I'll reign on the rolling main,
As I do on the Zuyder Zee!
As I do on the Zuyder Zee!"
And as he paced his quarter deck,
And looked o'er the misty tide,
He saw old England like a speck,
And he shook his fist and cried,
And he shook his fist and cried:
"I've a broom at the mast!" said he,
"For a broom is the sign for me,
That the world may know, wherever I go,
I sweep the might sea!"
"I've a broom at the mast!" said he,
"For a broom is the sign for me,
That the world may know, wherever I go,
I sweep the might sea!"
Now Blake was an Admiral true as gold,
And he walked by the English sea;
And when he was told of that Dutchman bold,
A merry laugh laughed he,
A merry laugh laughed he.
He cried, "Come here, you Dutchman queer,
Today you must fight with me;
For while I ride on the rolling tide,
I'll be second to none!" said he,
"I'll be second to none!" said he.
"I've a whip at the fore, you see!
For a whip is the sign for me,
That the world may know, wherever we go,
We ride and rule the sea!"
"I've a whip at the fore, you see!
For a whip is the sign for me,
That the world may know, wherever we go,
We ride and rule the sea!"

2 comments:

  1. Readers can hear Dawson sign the song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXG6k8IQCUU

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