"This outward-bound chantey arose from the North Atlantic packet trade. Western Ocean is an English and Irish reference to the Atlantic, which lies to the west of the British Isles..."
The more modern version, Leave Her, Johnny, was reserved for the last spell at the pumps after the ship was fastened to the pier.
Oh, the times are hard and the wages low,Amelia, where you bound to?The Rocky Mountains is my home,Across the Western Ocean.The land of promise there you'll see;I'm bound across that Western sea.I'll take my way from LiverpoolIn Liverpool, that Yankee schoolThere's Liverpool Pat in a tarpaulin hat,And Yankee Jack, the packet rat.
Beware these packet ships, I say,They steal your stores and clothes away.
We are going away from friends and home,We are going away to search for gold.
Fathers and mothers, say good-by,Sisters and brothers, don't you cry.