Though Stan Hugill noted the common dating of this song to the period of Louis-Philippe's rule (1830-1848), his suspicion that it was almost a hundred years older proved correct. It has been attributed to François Claude de Bouillé, governor of Guadalupe from 1769-1771.

The French and British wrestled over the Carnatic region (including Madras) of South India before it was eventually captured by the English and a favorable Indian prince was put in charge in 1750. The governor was slightly too young to have participated in this conflict.

In this song, a native girl tries to delay the sailing of her matlow (seaman) but it is too late to gain the necessary permit.