Blow the Man Down

(Knock a Man Down)

As I was a-walking down Paradise Street,
Ch: To me way-aye, blow the man down
A pretty young damsel I chanced for to meet
Ch: Give me some time to blow the man down!

She was round in the counter and bluff in the bow,
So I took in all sail and cried "Way enough now."

I hailed her in English, she answered me clear,
"I'm from the Black Arrow bound to the Shakespeare."

So I tailed her my flipper and took her in tow,
And yardarm to yardarm away we did go.

But as we were going she said unto me,
"There's a spanking full-rigger just ready for sea."

That spanking full-rigger to New York was bound;
She was very well manned and very well found.

But soon as that packet was clear of the bar,
The mate knocked me down with the end of a spar.

And as soon as that packet was out on the sea,
'Twas devilish hard treatment of every degree.

So I give you fair warning before we belay;
Don't never take heed of what pretty girls say.

Version 1
From Roll and Go by Joanna Carver Colcord (1924)

Come all you young fellows that follow the sea
Ch: To me way-aye, blow the man down
Now pray pay attention and listen to me.
Ch: Give me some time to blow the man down!

I'm a deep water sailor just come from Hong Kong
If you'll give me some whiskey I'll sing you a song.

On a trim Black Ball liner I first served my time,
And in that Black Baller I wasted my prime.

It's when a Black Baller's preparing for sea,
You'd split your sides laughing the sights you would see.

At the tinkers and tailors and sojers and all,
For you'll seldom find sailors aboard a Black Ball.

'Tis when the Black Baller is clear of the land
The crew musters aft at the word of command.

"Lay aft," is the cry, "to the break of the poop,
Or I'll help you along with the toe of my boot."

"Pay attention to orders, now you one and all,
For see, right above you there flies the Black Ball."

'Tis larboard and starboard on deck you will sprawl,
For Kicking Jack Williams commands that Black Ball.

Version 2
From Roll and Go by Joanna Carver Colcord (1924)

As I was a-walking down Paradise Street,
Ch: To me way-aye, blow the man down!
A Liverpool bobby I chanced for to meet,
Ch: Give me some time to blow the man down!

Says he, "You're a Blackballer by the cut of your hair;
I know you're a Blackballer by the clothes that you wear.

"You've sailed in a packet that flies the Black Ball,
You've robbed some poor Dutchmen of boots, clothes and all."

"Oh policeman, policeman, you do me great wrong;
I'm a 'Flying Fish' sailor just home from Hong Kong!"

They gave me six months in Liverpool town.
For kicking a p'liceman and blowing him down.

Version 3
From Roll and Go by Joanna Carver Colcord (1924)