The site dedicated to the preservation of
Royal Navy Songs

Having Problems in
finding your song.
Then please contact me

All enquiries & requests




Living in Southwest
Would like a talk on
Naval Songs
Then see the
Contacts & Info Page

Barry E. Scott
16, Hendford
Yeovil, Somerset.
BA20 1TE
Tel: +44(0)1935 425603




You are at : Home :News

This page is intended to keep you in touch with news and developments.

May 2014 - BBC  BBC - Radio 4

    • Check out the BBC Radio 4 programs ' Britain at Sea' featuring Admiral West.
      These are to include, with the assistance of this webmaster some well known Naval Ditties.

      The programs edited by Giles Edwards are broadcast from Monday June 2nd for three weeks


    •  General updates & Improvements

2012-2014 - Routine Improvements of Site

    • Update of pages with CSS & HTML 5
    • The start in erasing some of those irritating spelling mistakes.
    • General Improvement to text & Bug fixes wrt to Broken Links etc.
    • New Songs Across the board
    •  New Pages and Reworked Pages for - Fragments - Field Gun Calls - Scran - Ship Names etc.
    • Corrections and minor adjustment particularly to the way graphics are handled.

Aug 2011 - Aug 2009 - Site Update

    • Routine Monthly or bi monthly updates
    • General Improvement to text & Bug fixes re Broken Links etc.
    • New Songs and Rotation of other material due to site bandwidth
    • Corrections and minor adjustment

May 2009 - Major Site Update

    • New Sections For Bugle Calls & Ship Nicknames
    • New Section begun to record Sailors Dictionary or terms - This will differ from other such word lists, in that it is intended to include notes not only on the meaning of the word, but on the words, but also dating such usage.
    • New Songs
    • Corrections and minor adjustment

Aug 2008 - Site Updated

    • New Songs
    • Minor Updates & corrections

Mar 2008 - Site Updated

  • Ceremonial Page Implemented - Marching - Crossing the Line
  • New Songs
  • Scran Shout
May 2007 - Site Updated
Some Links Repaired and songs added etc.

September 2006

  • New is the OD's page containing the Bawdy material
  • New is the extended Games pages with Tombola and Uckers calls

August 2006

  • Important new discovery of a Victorian Seaman's Songbook in a public manuscript collection - It contains 121 songs, poems and ditties + a few jokes and commentary pieces. More to follow as the volume is digested.
  • This site is two years old this month, and as a result we are expanding several features.
    New is the Reunions page, which by request expands the links area to provide web site and contact details. Please let me know if you would like an entry.
    Thankyou to everyone in the web, who has sent in material or made helpful comments.
  • Hope to meet up with some of you at the Sidmouth Folk Festival 4th - 11th August - On site Wednesday.
July 2006
Great new Input from "Doctor Bob" Black Many thanks
March 2006
Discovery of an unknown typescript Song Book
Containing some thirty songs - though mostly of a bawdy nature
Feb 2006
Lecture and singaround at the Sherborne RNA club on 10th Feb.
Sep 2005
Site streamlined & improved. Links rechecked to ensure correct access - If you have any problems or suggestions - please send to
Aug 2005
1. - A Tribute to Cyril Tawney - Following the death of Cyril Tawney in April of this year. The Sidmouth Folk Festival held a celebratory tribute to him on the Wednesday evening. Many distinguished artists were present in the audience and on stage including Mick Groves (ex Spinner) see; Hanging Johnny; Louis Killan etc.
It was a great privaledge to stand amongst this select group and provide a tribute to Cyril's legacy in the manner of his song collecting and principally the production of Grey Funnel Lines. The pioneering volume written on the traditional songs of the Royal Navy of the twentieth century.
Also - Check out issue 104 of Folk on Tap magazine -for an extensive biography -
2. - Enthusiasts for the songs of the Royal Navy - Were able to hear a presentation at the Sidmouth Folk Festival on Monday 1st August. The talk was given to a packed house and was well received, with topics covered including. A description of life on a Napoleonic Man-O-War and how it promoted his song. His work Songs; those used in a ceremonial situation. In particular we covered songs used for entertainment at the forebits, the messdeck, as he went about his duties and in the Sods Opera. Along the way we spoke of the influence Nancy Dawson had to the Sailors Hornpipe as it was performed aboard nineteenth century ships. We closed with a sailors requiem song for Cyril.
Groups or Organisations in the South West - If you are interested in receiving a presentation on the subject, during the Trafalgar centenary - Should contact me (Please note I have a limited availability - Donation expected for charity.)
June 2005
Great news - The recent discovery of a manuscript log and ditty book for HMS Portland 1850 - 1854 - The volume is still being evaluated but apart from short stories, anecdotes, and lots of toasts. Contains 3 ditties and 19 songs.
April 2005 - Sad News
It is with much sadness that I inform you of the death of Cyril Tawney in April 2005. Readers may remember that Cyril whilst serving in the Royal Navy in submarines, had his own Radio and TV shows in the 1950's.
His interest in the old songs was instrumental in creating the Folk Revival as we know it today. He wrote many songs that have themselves become folk favourites such as Grey Funnel Lines, Five foot flirt, Diesel & Shale and Stanley the Rat.
To say that his general contribution to the world of Folk music was huge, is an understatement As was evidenced by the packed church for his funeral. His love for music was witnessed by those present and that his allegiance to the heritage of the country he loved was shown by the flag of St George that draped his coffin.
As mentioned elsewhere on these pages, Cyril was the first person to recognise the true importance, of the Royal Navy and its influence on Traditional Music. Readers are recommended to his own volume on this subject 'Grey Funnel Lines' which can be found on the shelves of any music library.
Cyril was a major contributor to these pages and the songs he has collected since publication of Grey Funnel Lines is set to appear as an addendum to the companion volume. Yet sadly it is his advice on the smaller points of detail that will be long missed.
Last Update: May 2014 abc     (C) 2014