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Spanish Ladies is a very old sea (naval) song giving a vivid picture of ships under sail in the English Channel.
This version is the more usual melody in a major key (F major concert pitch). There are others variants such as Ralph Vaughan Williams' version in A minor.
Farewell and adieu unto you Spanish ladies Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain For it's we've received orders for to sail for old England But we hope very soon we shall see you again
Chorus: We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors We'll rant and we'll roar across the salt seas Until we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five leagues
Then we hove our ship to the wind at sou'west, my boys We hove our ship to our soundings for to see So we rounded and sounded; got forty-five fathoms We squared our main yard and up channel steered we
Now the first land we made it is called the Deadman The Ram Head off Plymouth, Start. Portland and Wight We sailed by Beachy, by Fairlee and Dungeness Till we came abreast of the South Foreland Light
Then the signal was made for the grand fleet to anchor All in the Downs that night for to lie Then it's stand by your stoppers, see clear your shank-painters, Haul all your clew garnets, let tacks and sheets fly
Now let every man toss off a full bumper And let every man drink off a full glass And we'll drink and be merry and drown melancholy Singing, here's a good health to each true-hearted lass.
Ushant to Scilly is said to be 35 leagues. Using an online distance calculator I computed the distance to be 187km or 101 nautical miles (nm). A nautical league is 3 nautical miles. Hence the distance is 33.7 nautical leagues. The nautical league is rarely used these days and is not used for navigation.
"Deadman" is Dodman Point near Plymouth. Fairlee is Fairlight Hill near Hastings.
Pictured - Scilly Islands harbour