The Seventeen Bright Stars
Come all you bold Britons, to the sea do belong,
Of the seventeen bright stars I will sing you a song.
On the fifteenth of April at Spithead we lay;
Lord Britport he hove out a signal to weigh,
But one and all we refused to obey.
Ch: Ri lori liddle la liddle,
La diddle la diddle ay day
The reason unto you I now will relate:
We resolved to refuse the purser's short weight.
Our humble petition to Lord Howe we sent,
That he to the Admirality write to present
Our provisions and wages that they might augment.
Then each son of Neptune took oath without dread,
Till redress was obtained, not to sail from Spithead.
Two tars from each ship of the line did appear
On board the “Queen Charlotte” without dread or fear,
While the ships manned their yards with a thundering loud cheer.
Billy Pitt and then Dundas soon heard of the news:
They fell in a rage and the tars did abuse.
They sent for Lord Spencer and to him did say:
“For Portsmouth, my lord, and make no delay,
For the mutinous tars all refuse to obey.”
Lord Spencer to us then these words did express:
“Your grievance, my lads, it shall soon find redress.
you'll have full provisions and a shilling a day.”
We trusted their honour, and our anchors did weigh,
But the wind coming west, at St Heles we lay.
When we found from their promise they meant for to run,
We resolved for to force them before we had done.
When the signal was made to the sea to repair,
We then did refuse with another loud cheer,
Which made our proud rulers to quake and to fear.
At length from our king brave Lord Howe he was sent,
To redress our grievance to our full intent.
We received the old hero with joy as our friend,
and, the act being passed, we will cheerfully sing,
Confusion to France, boys, and long live our king.
Here's a health to Lord Howe in a full flowing glass,
Confusion to Pitt and likewise to Dundas.
The seventeen bright stars in a bumper shall roar,
Their praises shall sound out from shore to shore,
They'll ne'er be forgot until England's no more.