Ward, The Pirate (Ralph Vaughan Williams)

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  • (Posted 2006-06-03)  CPDL #11810:      (Finale 2005) Icon_mp3.gif
Editor: Adam P. Cole (submitted 2006-06-03).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 210 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Transcribed from J. Curwen & Sons 1912 Edition, with addition of a few slurs. The piano reduction (for rehearsal) has been omitted. The original notated dynamic marking for Bass II, m33 was "mf"; it was changed to match the other parts. NB - The midi, mp3 and Finale files all play back at A = 415 Hz The MP3 recording above is the editor's own personal "one-man choir" performance. To create the file, 20 solo vocal tracks were digitally recorded using an ordinary PC microphone, then down-mixed and reverberated. (all rights reserved)

General Information

Title: Ward, The Pirate
Composer: Anonymous (Traditional)
Arranger: Ralph Vaughan Williams

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: TTBB
Genre: SecularFolksong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1912

Description: Traditional English folk-tune, originally set for solo voice and piano in "Folk Songs from the Eastern Counties" (Novello & Co.)

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Come all you gallant seamen bold,
All you that march to the drum,
Let's go and look for Captain Ward,
Far on the sea he roams;
He is the biggest robber
That ever you did hear,
There's not been such a robber found
For above this hundred year.

A ship was sailing from the east
And going to the west,
Loaded with silks and satins
And velvets of the best,
But meeting there with Captain Ward,
It proved a bad meeting;
He robbèd them of all their wealth
And bid them tell their king.

O then the king provided a ship of noble fame,
She's call'd the "Royal Rainbow,"
If you would know her name;
She was as well provided for
As any ship could be,
Full thirteen hundred men on board
To bear her company.

'Twas eight o' clock in the morning
When they began to fight,
And so they did continue there
Till nine o' clock at night.
"Fight on, fight on," says Captain Ward,
"This sport well pleases me,
For if you fight this month or more,
Your master I will be."

O then the gallant "Rainbow"
She fired, she fired in vain,
Till six and thirty of her men
All on the deck were slain.
"Go home, go home," says Captain Ward,
"And tell your king from me,
If he reigns king on all the land,
Ward will reign king on sea!"