Spanish Ladies

(Farewell and Adieu To You; Talcahuano Girls)

Spanish Ladies has remained a tremendously popular tune since the first shanty collections appeared. Cecil Sharp knew it as a capstan shanty, though it was later sung in the British Navy, shanties reportedly not being permitted.

Deadman and Fairlee are sea names for the Dodman Point near Plymouth and Fairlight Hill near Hastings. Grand Fleet was an old name for the Channel Fleet.

Whall gives the tune a minor key and claims the major version is a modern substitute. It would be spoiled by harmonized accompaniment, he writes, as the song is an example of Come-All-Ye's, that class of song sung slowly in unison and with long verses interspersed.

The song is the basis for Herman Melville's 1888 poem Tom Deadlight,.