We Be Three Poor Mariners

Thomas Ravenscroft’s collections of songs and music were very popular during his lifetime and continue to be a valuable source of early traditional song. We Be Three Poor Mariners was printed in Deuteromelia in 1609. The word ‘bully’ meant ‘admirable, gallant, jolly’ and survived in 19th century sea shanties such as Row, Bullies, Row and right through the 20th century as the colloquial encouragement ‘bully for you’, but admittedly I’ve not heard it lately.

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