Week 42: Rounding the Horn, Frankie’s Trade, Roll down to Rio

Week 42’s songs were delayed owing to football; watching a nil-nil draw settled on penalties after two full hours of play somehow seemed like a much better idea than putting the finishing touches to this week’s songs. I don’t know what I was thinking of; it won’t happen again.

There are three thematically-linked songs this week, one traditional and two by Kipling and Bellamy; they’re all sea songs, and they all focus on South America in particular.

Rounding the Horn – a.k.a. The gallant frigate Amphitrite – makes rounding the Horn sound like a thoroughly good idea, as long as you don’t get lost on the way. Accompaniment: drums, recorder, English concertina.

Frankie’s trade is Bellamy’s take on Kipling in praise of Francis Drake, and by extension in praise of English seamanship and England in general. The idea seems to be that Drake could never have been the seaman he was if he hadn’t cut his teeth as a marauder across the cold North Sea. I defy anyone not to get a bit patriotic towards the end.

Roll down to Rio, lastly, is a jokey, dreamy little poem from the Just-So Stories, accompanied here on English concertina.

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