Charles Dibdin

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Charles Dibdin, 1799, by Thomas Phillips (died 1845), oil on canvas

Charles Dibdin (before 4 March 1745 – 25 July 1814), British musician, dramatist, novelist, actor and songwriter.


  • For a soldier I listed, to grow great in fame.
    And be shot at for sixpence a day.
    • Letters (c. 1774).
  • There ’s a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft,
    To keep watch for the life of poor Jack.
    • Poor Jack (c. 1788).
  • Did you ever hear of Captain Wattle?
    He was all for love, and a little for the bottle.
    • Captain Wattle and Miss Roe.
  • His form was of the manliest beauty,
    His heart was kind and soft;
    Faithful below he did his duty,
    But now he ’s gone aloft.
    • Tom Bowling (c. 1788).
  • Spanking Jack was so comely, so pleasant, so jolly,
    Though winds blew great guns, still he ’d whistle and sing;
    Jack loved his friend, and was true to his Molly,
    And if honour gives greatness, was great as a king.
    • The Sailor’s Consolation. A song with this title, beginning, "One night came on a hurricane", was written by William Pitt, of Malta, who died in 1840.
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