Worcester Festival Novelties

1905 The Musical Times  
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. This content downloaded from 150.135.239.97 on Wed, 04 Nov 2015 21:39:17 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions THE MUSICAL TIMES.-SEPTEMBER 1, 1905.
more » ... -SEPTEMBER 1, 1905. THE MUSICAL TIMES.-SEPTEMBER 1, 1905. 'THE BAY OF BISCAY.' This year of grace 1905 not only commemorates the centenary of Nelson and Trafalgar, but the famous nautical song' The Bay of Biscay.' In our July issue, in some notes on Braham's 'The death of Nelson,' we drew attention to the fact that it originally formed part of a comic opera entitled 'The Americans.' Curiously enough 'The Bay of Biscay' was also first introduced in a musical piece having a foreign title-'The Spanish dollars, or the Priest of the Parish.' This was written by Andrew Cherry for the benefit of Incledon, the tenor singer, at Covent Garden, May 9, 80o5. The plot-such as it is-of the piece mainly consists of a ship's crew having been cast upon the Irish coast. Scene 2 is headed 'an open country,' and the song is prefaced by the following dialogue, Joe MacMizen, impersonated by Incledon, being the captain of the foundered vessel: J Joe MacMizen.-We have escaped a bit of a squall, to be sure. Sailor. -Squall !-Hurricane, you mean. Joe.-Pooh--a cap-full-nothing-a street-puddle in a shower to what I have weathered :-Why there was in our last voyage from St. Helen's, I remember in the Bay of Biscay, at the dead of a pitch-dark night, the wind blew great guns, the thunder roll'd, flash went the lightning, when the mainmast gave way with a most tremendous crash; we clapt stops upon the cables and secured 'em by ring-bolts upon the deck; the cable parted-the ship hung by the stream and kedge, and drove broadside on; a wave carried away our sternboat, unshipt our rudder, and washed overboard our quarter-boards, binnacle, and round-house; there we lay-our men drenched with wet, and fainting with fatigue-'till Providence hush'd the winds, becalmed the seas, hove another sail in sight, that took us up, and gave us strength and fortitude to proceed on our voyage.-When then should sailors despair, since the Breath that agitates, can lull the boisterous ocean. SONG. Loud roar'd the dreadful thunder, &c. It is obvious from the foregoing extract that the song was sung on shore and not afloat-certainly not in the Bay of Biscay. But when Braham sang it he changed the environment of the song-from the peaceful shore to the stormy sea-by interpolating some notes in verse 4: VERSE 4. When heav'n all bounteous ever, Its bound-less mercy sent. (A sail! a sai! a sail!) A. sail in sight ap-pears, In order to pile up the agony the little tenor used to kneel on one knee at the words 'A sail.' At one of the Hereford Festivals he followed his usual custom, but entirely wrecked the effect he intended. It so happened that 'the platform was constructed with a rather high barrier on the side towards the audience, so that the little tenor was completely lost to sight. The audience, in alarm, thinking he had slipped down a trap door, rose like one man, and when Braham got up again, he was received with shouts of laughter.' May we not say that 'he was drowned in hilarity'? 'The Bay of Biscay' was composed by John Davy, a native of Upton Helions, near Exeter. A pupil of William Jackson, of Te Deum in F fame, he subsequently came to London, where he found employment in the orchestra of Covent Garden, and as a teacher of music. Upon his creative gifts becoming known, Davy was engaged to supply music 'THE BAY OF BISCAY.' This year of grace 1905 not only commemorates the centenary of Nelson and Trafalgar, but the famous nautical song' The Bay of Biscay.' In our July issue, in some notes on Braham's 'The death of Nelson,' we drew attention to the fact that it originally formed part of a comic opera entitled 'The Americans.' Curiously enough 'The Bay of Biscay' was also first introduced in a musical piece having a foreign title-'The Spanish dollars, or the Priest of the Parish.' This was written by Andrew Cherry for the benefit of Incledon, the tenor singer, at Covent Garden, May 9, 80o5. The plot-such as it is-of the piece mainly consists of a ship's crew having been cast upon the Irish coast. Scene 2 is headed 'an open country,' and the song is prefaced by the following dialogue, Joe MacMizen, impersonated by Incledon, being the captain of the foundered vessel: J Joe MacMizen.-We have escaped a bit of a squall, to be sure. Sailor. -Squall !-Hurricane, you mean. Joe.-Pooh--a cap-full-nothing-a street-puddle in a shower to what I have weathered :-Why there was in our last voyage from St. Helen's, I remember in the Bay of Biscay, at the dead of a pitch-dark night, the wind blew great guns, the thunder roll'd, flash went the lightning, when the mainmast gave way with a most tremendous crash; we clapt stops upon the cables and secured 'em by ring-bolts upon the deck; the cable parted-the ship hung by the stream and kedge, and drove broadside on; a wave carried away our sternboat, unshipt our rudder, and washed overboard our quarter-boards, binnacle, and round-house; there we lay-our men drenched with wet, and fainting with fatigue-'till Providence hush'd the winds, becalmed the seas, hove another sail in sight, that took us up, and gave us strength and fortitude to proceed on our voyage.-When then should sailors despair, since the Breath that agitates, can lull the boisterous ocean. SONG.
doi:10.2307/903666 fatcat:gev6esq3x5bddi4wqiaa776mee