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Thursday, 16 May 2019

Cornwallis Remembered: Total Voice Chamber Choir to perform

The Total Voice Chamber Choir will be performing as part of the entertainment at the Cornwallis Remembered Weekend, which is a family friendly celebration on Milford on Sea village green on Friday 5th July 2019. Keep the date free!

For the occasion a new adaptation on the maritime song; Billy Blue has been written. The four part music was specifically composed by Peter Holgate for Victoria’s chamber choir who will have spent many hours practising for the performance.

Lyrics to Billy Blue (Recomposed)

It was just at break of day.
We were cruising in the Bay.
With Cornwallis in the Sov’reign in the van;
When a French Fleet bound for Brest,
From Belle Isle came heading west.
And so, my lads, the saucy game began.

Billy Blue, here’s to you. Billy Blue, here’s to you.

To the lads Cornwallis told,
Like some hero chief of old,
When he bade them from the quarterdeck, good luck.
‘To no foe upon the sea,
You may take it, men, from me,
Is the ensign of the Sov’reign to be struck!’

Billy Blue, here’s to you. Billy Blue, here’s to you.

‘Let the odds be what they will,
We just go on fighting still,
For the honour of the Sov’reign’s old renown.
And when, men, all is done,
As we fire our final gun,
With our colours flying still, we will go down.’

Billy Blue, here’s to you. Billy Blue, here’s to you.

Then they came on, looking slaughter,
Like to blow us from the water,
As they near’d to port and starboard and astern.
But we put in double shot,
And we paid them back so hot,
That they looked at one another with concern.

Billy Blue, here’s to you. Billy Blue, here’s to you.

Next the Triumph they attacked,
And the Mars got badly whacked,
‘Twas the Sov’reign with her broadsides beat them back.
Her three tiers all aflame,
Sweeping round the flagship came,
Leaving death and Frenchman’s wreckage in her track.

Billy Blue, here’s to you. Billy Blue, here’s to you.

So we close this gallant story,
Of a day to England’s glory,
Two hundred years ago, and twenty-four
‘Twere a pity to forget it,
And to slide forever let it,
Because the men that fought are here no more.

Billy Blue, here’s to you. Billy Blue, here’s to you.

Ay, Blue Billy, here’s to him, with three times three,
To the honour of his name upon the sea: 
‘He upheld Old England’s credit’ said the country in its pride.
‘Cornwallis’s Retreat’,
Greek Xenophon’s great feat.
In its spirit we may claim to set beside.

Billy Blue, here’s to you. Billy Blue, here’s to you.

About Total Voice Chamber Choir 

The Total Voice Chamber Choir was formed in 2012 and is made up of about thirty-six local singers. The choir’s aim is perform an eclectic range of choral music to an excellent standard. 

The choir has enjoyed many successful performances in venues ranging from Bournemouth Pavilion to Milford’s own village green and has taken part in several concerts with the New Forest and Westbourne Orchestras. 

With its focus firmly on singing for pleasure as well as striving for excellence, Total Voice Chamber Choir provides a place for keen singers to develop their vocal skills in a friendly and encouraging environment. 

Victoria Hopkins 

Victoria comes from a musical family and has been singing all her life. A hugely enjoyable career in the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus followed university, along with regular engagements as a mezzo-soprano soloist and a ‘day job’ as a lawyer. These days, Victoria divides her time between running Total Voice Chamber Choir and online business Community Choir Professionals, which trains and supports choir leaders world-wide. 

Peter Holgate 

Peter studied at The London College of Music under the watchful eye of William Lloyd Webber. 

He then spent 36 years as Director of Music in a large school in West Sussex, where he built up several choirs, instrumental and orchestral groups. 

He is a prolific composer and arranger and has many years of experience as a conductor and musical director. 

He has given performances at The Royal Albert Hall, Central Hall Westminster, The Fairfield Halls as well as countless regional theatres. He has performed alongside the Russian Army Band, United States Airforce Band and the Royal Marines . 

Since retiring to Milford on Sea he has done many arrangements and compositions for local vocal and instrumental groups.


To find our more about all of the Cornwallis Story and the Cornwallis Remembered celebrations, please click here.

Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society:


Cornwallis Remembered Weekend: 

Friday 5th July 2019: includes a family friendly celebration on Milford on Sea village green and much more. Keep the date free!

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