From the recording Live on PBS SoCal
The Lions' Den
In London city there lived a lady
And she being heir to a great estate
Men of honor, lords, dukes and earls,
On this young lady did oft‘ times wait.
She being so high and so independent
No man on earth could her husband be
Except he were some great man of honour
That never was conquered by land or sea.
There came two brothers who were to love her
And both admired this lady fair
They did endeavor to gain her favor,
Likewise to please her was all their care.
Now one of them bore a captain's commission
And he was commanded by Colonel Carr,
And the other was as a first lieutenant
On board the Tiger, brave man-o-war.
Said she, “I'll find out a way to try them,
And I'll see which brother first from danger starts,
And he who shall behave the bravest
Shall be the governor of my heart.”
She ordered coaches for to get ready
Being early, early by break of day,
And by her orders her coach got ready
To Tower Hill they rolled away.
And when she drove up unto the tower
She threw her fan into the lions' den,
“The man that wants me or aims to gain me
Will bring me back my fan again.”
Up then and spoke the faint-hearted captain
“I fear my life would no ransom prove,
And I'll not venture my soul in danger
Though I should never gain your love.”
Up then and spoke up the brave lieutenant
With a voice like thunder so loud and high,
“On land or sea I was never daunted
I’ll bring it back love or else I’ll die!”
And from his side he drew out a rapier
And two of the lions he then did kill.
When the others saw his manly courage
Down at their conqueror’s brave feet they lay.
He then bent down for the fan to pick up
This bold lieutenant made no delay,
While the lady sat in her coach a-trembling,
Lest he become the lion's prey.
But when she saw her brave hero coming
And that to him sure no harm was done,
With open arms she did embrace him
Saying, “Take the prize love that you have won.”
And when the king then did come to notice
That two of his lions they had been killed,
Well, he was not at all displeased
But gave him honor all for the same.
He advanced him from a first lieutenant
And he made him an Admiral, all of the blue,
And he and the lady, they both got married
Sure it shows us all now what love can do!