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This programme in its long form was the forerunner of the 2005 Nelson programme, and it has also been performed in a short, one hour version, including some of the following music. It looks at the influence of the sea, and war, on village communities.

Our programmes are continually improved, and different music may be substituted from time to time.

The Belle Isle March

We play the arrangement performed by the 3 regiments of Footguards before His Majesty King George III in Hyde Park on 27th June 1763.

The Battle of the Nile March

This march occurs in several MSS and printed sources. Our setting comes from a band MS used in Widecombe and neighbouring villages.

Psalm 107 New Version

Words by Tate & Brady. Tune: New Poole by William Knapp, the parish clerk of St. James, Poole from 1729 to 1768.

Anthem for Thanksgiving After Victory

Texts from Isaiah, Chronicles, Psalms and Exodus, set by Henry Tolhurst, who lived near Maidstone. The Maidstone Journal for 24th May 1814 records his funeral: "On Sunday night the remains of Mr Henry Tolhurst of this town (a celebrated Psalm Singer and Musician) were interred at Langley, the corpse was preceded by a Band of Music, and the place of interment attended by some hundreds of spectators, many of whom seemed deeply affected at this solemn spectacle."

The Standing Toast

Words and music by Charles Dibdin 1745-1814. He studied as a boy chorister and organist at Winchester Cathedral, and became famous as a composer and performer in the London theatres and at Vauxhall Gardens. Also called The lass that loves a sailor, this is supposed to be the last song he wrote. Join in the chorus if you wish.

Psalm 69 New Version

Words by Tate & Brady. Copied by our friend Claire Willman from Twelve Psalm Tunes and Eight Anthems in Score, composed by Stephen Jarvis of Dartmouth, and published between 1798 & 1823. We thank Claire for permission to use it.

College Hornpipe

Also known as the Sailor’s Hornpipe, and found in many sources. Here is our own arrangement of this well-known tune.

Harvest Psalm

Psalm 65 New Version, vv.9-13 by Tate & Brady. All the tunes except the first are to be found in several MSS and printed books, associated with this Psalm.

  • Frome from the MS of Henry Hoddinott, Frome.
  • St. Olave’s from Gems of Sacred Melody 1841, compiled by George Worgan. Composed by Mary Hudson 1766-1801, organist of St.Olave’s, London.
  • Martin’s Lane from the Surry Chapel Collection, ca.1835.
  • Wimborne from the Union Tune Book, 8th edn. 1844. This tune is played by the carillon of St. Mark’s, Talbot Village, Bournemouth.
  • New Sabbath from the Union Tune Book, 8th edn. 1844. Mentioned by Thomas Hardy in the poem, A Church Romance.

The Barley Mow

Please join in this traditional Hampshire version of this widespread cumulative song extolling the people involved in the crop and its journey to the tankard.

God Save the King

Adopted during the 18th century as our national anthem, it had many variants of words and harmony. The audience joins in verses from about 1800.


A Catch for 3 Voices

This nautical catch came from the MS book of Annie Hern, now lost. [mp3]

Hearts of Oak

Words by David Garrick, musc by William Boyce. [mp3]


Harper’s Frolic from Ashover, Derbyshire, written down in the 1780’s. Tunes: The Heroes March from a Somerset MS, and Netley Abbey from Cahusac’s Pocket Companion to the German Flute, ca.1805.

Psalm 150 New Version

Words by Tate & Brady. Tune: Ramsgate by Thomas Clark of Canterbury, 1775-1856. He co-edited the Union Tune Book, first published in 1837.

On Admiral Nelson’s Victory

This glee is by John Davy, born Exeter 1765. He studied under William Jackson, organist at the cathedral, and died in London in 1824. He wrote many songs and pieces for the theatre. We thank Claire Willman for permission to use her transcription.

Psalm 99 New Version

Words by Tate & Brady. The tune is also known as New Victory, or Clifford’s after its composer. It is called Bonaparte’s Air (sic) in the Farmer MS from Bramley in NE Hampshire, from which we take this setting.

Ill Fares the Family

This round probably originates in the 16th century. We found it written as a footnote in the MS of Thomas Hardy’s grandfather.


A setting by Charles Bannister, 1768-1831, of words which draw a parallel between the soul’s journey to heaven and a sea voyage. It comes from Josiah Walker’s The Beauties of Sacred Harmony, 1815.

Stand to Your Guns

Thomas Carter 1734-1804 wrote many successful operas and dramatic pieces, and when times were hard is said to have forged and sold Handel manuscripts. Originally a solo, the arrangement for choir is by Mike Bailey

Rule Britannia

This was the finale of Alfred, 1740, with words by James Thomson 1700-48 and music by Dr.Thomas Arne 1710-1778, who used it to stir up patriotic fervour in his Drury Lane audiences during the ’45 Jacobite rebellion. Our setting, ca.1815, is by Vincent Novello 1781-1861, organist at the Portuguese Embassy chapel in London, together with Arne’s introduction.

D027 Nelson’s March

This setting, from a Widecombe MS, is one of few such pieces to survive with instrumental parts.

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