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So Says Winston Churchill, First Lord of the British Admiralty.

By Frederick F. Schrader.

I AIN’T what you might call a dub,

I’m a blue-blooded Lord and a Knight;

But it gives me a pain in the head,

And truth is I ain’t feelin’ right.

My digestion ain’t just what it was—

I’m off into rapid decline,

Since back in September one day

We had that affair with “U-9.”

We had ’em like rats in a trap,

With sixty of ours to their ten;

But even with odds on like that

They luffed at our good sailormen.

Now ain’t I the Lord of the Main,

And ain’t I the Lord of the Sea?

But look you, my hearty, at what

This ’ere War Lord has done unto me!

These lubbers they’ve got no respect

For Britain, the Queen of the Sea.

They’re ruinin’ our cruisers and trade,

And look how that damages Me.

For I am the Lord of the Main,

The toast of the town and the teas,

And I’m blowed if it don’t give me pain

The way they are spoiling our seas.

I’m a wild-cat tornado for fight,

I’m a ring-tailed sun-of-a-gun.

We can lick all the navies afloat—

That is, if we’re a dozen to one.

And I hold it decidedly fell

To blow up three ships of the line

With a blasted invention of hell

That they call, in their jargon, “U-9.”

They may shower us with shot and with shell;

They may come at us one ship to ten,

But this on my word as a Lord,

They’d not make us fly even then.

For I am the Lord of the Main,

And England’s the Queen of the Sea,

And Germany gives me a pain

To thire problem with me,

If only they’d fight on the square,

Right out in the open blue sea,

One German ship fighting for fair

Against a half dozen of we.

We’d show these ’ere lubbers our stern

In a race that has never been beat;

We’d do ’em up brown to a turn

In fighting “a glorious retreat.”

Ay, Britain still rules the Main,

Proud Queen of the uttermost Sea,

Securely protected by mines,

Barbed wire fences and petards and—Me.

Schrader, Frederick F. “ ‘Britain Still Rules the Sea.’ ” The Fatherland 1, no. 11 (October 21, 1914): 11.

Schrader, Frederick F. “‘Britain Still Rules the Sea’.” The Fatherland 1, no. 11 (October 21, 1914): 11.


Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965) began serving in the House of Commons in 1901. He was Home Secretary from 1910 to 1911 and in October 1911 became First Lord of the Admiralty, the political head of the government department responsible for the Royal Navy. He oversaw naval operations when World War I broke out in August 1914. He would be invested as a Knight of the Garter in 1953.

Addison, Paul. “Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer.” In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. January 12, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/32413.



In 1914 the British Royal Navy was the largest and most powerful in the world. Most naval operations during the war occurred between Great Britain and Germany, in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. On the morning of September 22, 1914, the HSM Cressy, HMS Hogue, and HMS Aboukir, three old and slow armoured British cruisers, were patrolling a stretch of the North Sea along the Dutch coast. All three were sunk in just over an hour by a single German submarine, U-9, under the command of Otto Weddigen (1882–1915).

Massie, Robert K. Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003, 128–39.

Osborne, Eric W. “Naval Warfare.” In 1914–1918–online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, edited by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson. Freie Universität Berlin, 2014–. Article published October 8, 2014. https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/naval_warfare.



(Poetic) Short for main sea, or the high sea.

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