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The Phoenix and the Rose (Pete Seeger?) Upon the lordly Hudson on a pleasant summer's day His majesty's ships Phoenix and the Rose at Anchor lay They had spent the day in shooting up the towns along the shore A sport the gunners did enjoy but the captains found a bore It was tea time on the Phoenix and captain has rang his bell And he asked the captain's steward now then where's my tea pray tell The steward was embarrassed and he said well sir you see There's not a blinking thing aboard to serve you with your tea Not a thing aboard the Phoenix with her 4 and 40 guns Not a thing aboard the Phoenix with her gross 200 tons Not a blinking thing aboard the ship to serve me with my tea What sort of nonsense steward is this you're telling me It's been quite a busy day sir what with all the shelling And the raiding and the burning and the general raise-helling What's more the natives are unhappy and we've aroused their ire And some have them have even dared return our fire The steward then went on to say what with all the shooting There's been precious little time to spare for foraging and looting Because of this aboard the ship of 4 and 40 guns There was not a single thing to eat but carrots and stale buns Now blast me eyes and damme too cried Captain Sir Hyde-Parker Bestir yourself bestir the crew before it gets much darker Lower a boat or two or four and pull for that damn rebellious shore And capture and seize a well-stocked store or I'll give the lot of you what-for Meanwhile aboard the frigate Rose there was scarcely a bite or nibble And Captain Wallace sent his boats ashore with orders not to quibble But to take whatever they came upon whatever was too their taste Now hurry me lads the captain said there's little time to waste The crew of the gallant Phoenix now had stormed the Peekskill shore And joined by the crew of the gallant Rose they marched on the Peekskill store Not a rebel at all did they meet in town not a single shot was fired The Peekskill folk had taken their wives and prudently retired Into the empty town they went as bold as they could be Into the vacant stores they stormed in search of things for tea Alas they found but empty shelves not a single thing remained At which the sailors cursed the town in language unrestrained Not a scrap of food in all the town not a single bite to eat And the bugler scarcely had the strength to sound the sad retreat Back to their ships they slowly rowed in anger and in sorrow For they had no tea on that summer's day and they had none for tomorrow Upon the lordly Hudson on a pleasant summer's nite The villagers of Peekskill beheld a pleasant site The British ships had sailed away hungry from head to toes And Peekskill won the battle of the Phoenix and the Rose note: The tune is the same as The Jam on Gerry's Rocks, I think. After a lot of searching, I found my recording of The Phoenix and the Rose. 2 Weeks ago, I was in Duluth, Minnesota on vacation, and saw that the British Frigate Rose was to be in Duluth the day after I left. I presume the current Rose and the one mentioned in this song are the same. After listening to this song again, it seems that it was probably written by Pete Seeger rather than his good friend A. Nonymous. It was from a oldish (early 70's?) Folkways album that Seeger did on songs of the Hudson river. (I have never seen the album in stores....I checked it out of a library in 1978 or so). AAA AAA
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!