27 July 2011 10 Comments

The 24th of February

On the 24th of February,
The weather being clear.
We spied to be sure seven Turkish men-of-war,
Come a sailing from Algier.


To me ri fol leather ol,
ri fol leather ol,
ri fol leather ol lay.
Rol a diddle i,
rol a diddle i,
to me ri fol leather ol lay

Well the very first ship to come alongside,
Was called the Green Pea.
We fired to her a warning shot,
And quickly she did flee.


Well the very next ship to come alongside,
Was called the Prince so clear.
Commanded by the big Bagsham,
Come a sailing from Algier.


Well the very next ship to come alongside,
Was called the Rose and Crown.
We fired our broadside into her,
And quickly she went down.


Well the very next ship to come alongside,
Was called the Harp and Lyre.
We fired our pitch buckets into her,
And quickly she took fire.


Well two we sunk and two we took,
The rest they ran away,
And one we brought to Englands shore,
Just to show we won the day

10 Responses to “The 24th of February”

  1. Shirley 26 February 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Have just come back from greeting my sons ship coming in to Plymouth from the middle east – on 24th feb! Was looking for a sea shanty to accompany a video clip – brilliant!

  2. stefan 26 February 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Awesome to hear! Do you have a recording of it? Best one in my collection will be the Shanty Crew doing it on ‘Let the Wind Blow Free’ can be bought here: http://www.chanteycabin.co.uk/Shanty%20Crew/Shantycrew.htm

  3. Pete 13 February 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Lovely shanty – but shouldn’t the opening lyric (23rd of February) tie in with the title?

  4. mitrandir77 24 February 2015 at 10:13 pm #

    Actually it was 24th – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Beirut_(1912)

  5. stefan 17 May 2015 at 12:48 am #

    Thank guys! Updated the lyric now.

  6. geoff bibby 24 May 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    ‘Heave a pawl oh heave away’
    ‘Parish – rigged bums’

  7. Mike Edwards 22 July 2016 at 10:19 am #

    I have this song on a CD of sea shanties I bought. But the lyrics are slightly different to those printed here.

  8. Mike Edwards 7 September 2018 at 10:56 am #

    This song is also known as ‘The Turk Duffing Song’

  9. Thomas 1 March 2019 at 12:23 am #

    @mitrandir77: You are wrong sir. Why would italian sailors take turkish ship so british shores? Doesn’t make sense to me 🙂

    This song destribes battle that took place on 9th or 29th december 1660. ‘Mary Rose’ under commander John Kempthorne fought seven algierian pirate ships. And they won.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kempthorne_(Royal_Navy_officer)

  10. Erik M 24 May 2019 at 3:13 am #

    mitrandir77, that is the wrong battle. the correct battle referenced in the song is the Battle of Cadiz in 1669 between England and Algeria.

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