2. A Boat, A Boat! - John Jenkins (1592-1678)
A short and simple drinking song next from an earlier period. (Not every catch is rude!) Although even this song was eventually bowdlerised to “fix” the rhythm so one may find later editions where everything is boring and on the beat. This takes away the slightly tipsy, carousing feel the original has with everything teetering on the edge of falling over.
John Jenkins lived through an extraordinary period of UK history. He played for the court of Charles I, lived through the Civil War, the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell and was then employed by the court of Charles II in the Restoration. He was a virtuoso lyra viol player and is most famous for his huge output of suites and fantasias for viol consort. He spent most of his life in the south east of England in and around Norfolk.
"A boat, a boat! Haste to the ferry, For wee'l goe over to be merry, To laugh and sing and drink old sherry."