"To all you Ladies" is a most delightful, gentlemanly rendering of a seaman's plight in the mid-17th century aboard either a "King's" ship or that which pertained to Oliver Cromwell's "Commonwealth Navy". The sentiments expressed match my own experiences during the "Confrontation" in the Far Flung in the early 1960s when aboard the Mighty Vic (HMS Victorious to those not in the know). I found the song in Twice 44 Sociable Songs
in the early 1990s but had to wait until 2004 when that other Oliver, Dr Oliver Rosteck
, agreed to take this song in our joint repertoire. Geoffrey Shaw attributed this song as "probably to Lord Dorset". For my part I particularly enjoy the 4th verse to whit:
The King with wonder and surprise will think the sea's grown bold,
Because the tide does higher rise than ere it did of old.
But let him know that 'tis our tears bring floods of grief to Whitehall stairs.
As only one of hundreds of thousands down the centuries who were at the complete mercy of their Lordships and was never able to delve their intentions or even less able do anything about it, this song is especially meaningful.