Cornish Wreckers traditional prayer?

I was contacted by a researcher from BBC Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ programme asking about Cornish wreckers. They had found my “Wreckers Prayer” lyrics and suggested that it’s a traditional prayer with variations around the UK. They might use it on Monday Jan 29th in a piece about the Branscombe beach wreck in Devon. ( ‘Listen again’ for this programme will be available from 3pm… )

My reply:

The words quoted are specifically mine from an original song ( in
verse ) I wrote in 2003, partly based on some cultural memory as I did
indeed grow up in Cornwall.

You may quote them attributed to “Andy Roberts blog” if you like. I
haven’t written the music yet, but probably will do soon.

The idea for the song came to me whilst I was in the North of Spain
and realised that the dark tradition of wrecking wasn’t unique to
Cornwall but is also referred to there and in Brittany and probably
happened anywhere there were dangerous rocks near shipping lanes with
poor people living on the coast.

I have a vague memory of reading a version of a similar prayer (in
prose) displayed inside a church, which I think was on St Agnes Island
, but definitely on the Isles of Scilly. You might try and follow
that up if you can – good luck!

I’m impressed that my blog came up in google so quickly and with a little bit more searching you can also find reference to a BBC 1 TV programme – “Timber galore for Cornish wreckers which went out in 2003 quoting this verse:

“Oh please Lord, let us pray for all on the sea
But if there’s got to be wrecks, please send them to we.”

imagelisten or download for free via

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