Digital Tradition Mirror

The Phoenix and the Rose

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

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


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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