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These buttons Will take you directly to the respective Song Index's or return you to the Home Page
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Included on this site are some of the Royal Naval
songs, collected by the author (Barry E. Scott) during his twenty eight
years naval service. That primary collection has since been
expanded, by reference to various autobiographical
manuscripts, books and other miscellaneous sources.
But in particular - they have been assembled here by the kind help of yourselves. Who, noting that I had gone adrift, have
steered me back on course.
This is a non-commercial site.
Indeed I bear the complete costs, without
intentional adverts etc. - Therefore the only aim, is to extend the knowledge of this
genre of folk history, to preserve as much of it as is possible, as sadly the songs
and traditions of our youth, as we knew and used them are in danger
of being lost for ever.
Principally the site exists as a reminder,
of those halcyon days of youth. Yes, we were always ready to drip about
the life, but now in our senior years, certain aspects are often and frequently lamented.
The songs when considered individually, might be thought of as poor or classed as 'worthless', but collectively they are rich
in social history and very appropriate for study and preservation. If
only because the material illustrated o this site was used by you, and other Matelots, during your service.
If you found them worthy then, then they are priceless now. If only we
can capture the spirit of how they were used.
songs an other material, when cumulatively viewed
offer an insight into the character and nature, of sailors through the
generations. That is why, by helping NOW to preserve them, you will,
not only reminisce and be able to look-back, recall past 'oppos' and
situations, but recall the words or the
sentiments the songs express. Thus these songs are and I
hope will remain as a testament to our youth, aboard the 'Grey Funnel
Fleet' and more particularly our
such a legacy to our offspring, it is not sufficient to simply save the words or the tune, but entirely
necessary, to place the performance and occasion, into proper perspective.
Thus I need to know, for every period of time - HOW and WHEN, any particular song, would be sung.
Did you for example sing or perhaps spoke this 'dit' in the dog watch's around mess deck table, was it used as an 'aide memoir' to activity or
work or did it actually help regulate that activity or just make comment on it.. etc. etc.
Remember it is not just your memory that is important, but some of you will recall items, as related by your ex-naval fathers, uncles and grandfathers;
when talking of their own naval services. These are if anything more important than your own
experience, as there is so little recorded from such generations.
Perhaps those stories were black cat dit's or lamp swinging yarns, perhaps they spoke in diary or letter of an incident when Holystoning
the decks at early morning. If you do have such memories, and they are very rare. Please get in touch, particularly, if they
sang any favorite old Naval ditties. etc.
If you are wondering whether you should volunteer or share that
information, to help others, then remember this project is a charitable
one, intended only to preserve the information in one place. Whilst
isolated comments or e illustrations, are seldom
in historical context, to a period of time or specific activity.
That, crucially, is what we try on the page to
preserve. Thus the challenge is to preserve that knowledge now, and only you can help
your fellow ex RN oppos to do that. For unless you step forward, that knowledge will be irrevocably lost?
So please tell us of your own remembered songs, when you sang them, and what the occasion or situation was? Please contradict what id stated,
as there were many ships and many cap tallies all of which did things slightly different.
Just like the game of Uckers. You know there were different rule sets. So these songs were also sang by different traditions on different ships. Please tell us what you recall.
By doing so YOU will have seen fit to help preserve them for future generations, and should you chose your name will be attached to that
Thus if you remember singing any song, in your service, no matter how poor or bawdy
it now seems, please tell us. It does not matter if that memory is fragmented, or inded if only a short fragment now remains, as
together we can save that memory. But do not forget to tall us, in what context it was used. Fleet Canteen, During Work, or just on a run
ashore when befuddled by the soup.
Please help if you can, (particularly with the tunes), as there are many gaps,
I am able to translate into musical notation, even the most gravelly of voices. You can do this on the phone, or by sending a digital computer recording
or a tape(no matter how poorly sung). I may even be able to visit you or your father or comrade, to talk over old ships,
and make a proper recording for your own memories.
Not only do you get my gratitude but that of all the sprogs that emerge from the training schools of the future.
As to what I get out of it. "Only a job well done".
In return for your help - I will help any of you, to reclaim a lost song of your own.