During the Napoleanic wars declared against the French Empire between 1803 to 1815, many young men joined the Royal Navy and many battles were had at sea.  The man-of-war was a British Royal Navy expression for a powerful warship from the 16th to the 19th century. The term often refers to a ship armed with cannon and propelled primarily by sails, rather than by oars as many Naval ships did at that time.

Charting the progression of a young sailor from cabin boy to Captain, Sammy’s gone away is a sea shanty sung from the time of Nelson and may have been sung on the journey to the battle of Trafalgar where Nelson was shot and killed.

In this short video clip captured on a digital camera we see the children of Fourlanesend Community Primary School during one of their initial introductory lessons in sea shanties with the Miner Quay Shanty Men from Looe.

If you wish to sing along……

SAMMY’S GONE AWAY.
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war,
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war,
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war,
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war.
CHORUS
Pretty work brave boys,
Pretty work I say,
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war.
Sammy was the cabin boy aboard a man o’war,
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war,
Sammy was the cabin boy aboard a mano’war,
Sammys gone away aboard a man o’war’.
CHORUS
Sammy was a midshipman aboard a mano’war,
Sammy was a midshipman aboard a mano’war,
CHORUS
Sammy learnt to semaphore aboard a mano’war,
Sammy learnt to semaphore aboard a mano’war,
CHORUS
Sammy was the Bosun aboard a mano’war,
Sammy was the Bosun aboard a mano’war,
CHORUS
Sammy was the Captain aboard a mano’war,
Sammy was the Captain aboard a mano’war,
CHORUS
Sammy was the Admiral aboard a mano’war,
Sammy was the Admiral aboard a mano’war,
CHORUS
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war,
Sammy’s gone away aboard a mano’war.

CHORUS

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