You can find this and other songs on my bandcamp page, which I try to update whenever I have time to record things. I have no accompaniment or fancy recording equipment here in Halifax so this one's just a capella and untweaked, but hopefully people will enjoy it. I'm going to embed the song here so that you can listen as you read more about the song, if you so wish. It's quite long. It's worth listening to the end (or jumping to the end...), though, as it ends quite amusingly with a heartfelt prayer followed by the charmingly blunt "...I have no more to say."
For quite a while I've been looking around for an original publication of the lyrics to The Lowlands of Holland. In this particular pamphlet, from 1776, the song was titled "The Sorrowfull Lover's Regrate, or The Low-lands of Holland," and it can be found in the Edinburgh library. My university, thankfully, gives me access to their 18th century collections online, and I was able to get a facsimile of the original page.
|(Let me know if you want a higher-res version)|
Many versions hint more strongly at the presence of a press-gang to force the young husband off to sea, and place the events more firmly within the context of a war. Yet this late-18th century version still provides a window into the lot of seafarers and their families, as well as British views of Holland's New-World territories as merely an extension of itself. The strong connection drawn here between Holland and its colonial territories (to the point where only the presence of sugar cane tells the listener that 'the Lowlands of Holland' are not Holland itself) is particularly interesting in light of the fact that Britain was, at that moment, losing a large chunk of its own territory in North America, and could no longer draw that strong connection between itself and the arms of its own empire. Yet the verses concerning Holland's strength on the sea and its expansive ambitions also illustrates strongly that Britain was much more concerned with the encroachments of other empires in Jamaica and the Caribbean than it was with the departing Americans.
Hope you enjoyed it! My bandcamp page has a few other recordings on it (some medieval music, and one of my own compositions), and I'll be adding more to it as I find time to record things. I'll try to post here when I do.