There was an antique rotten hulk once,
A clipper ship named Magellan.
There was no time to brace in daytime,
Only at night the job was done.

Repeat fourth line in each verse

No matter how strung the gales were blowin'
Nothing was done during the day,
But when the bell struck: "Knock off work, boys!"
To stretch and haul we had to stay.

Sing' valle ralle, ralle ralle rala, rala, rala!
Sing' valle ralle, ralle ralle rala,
Valleri, valleri, vallera!

This was the way the skipper tricked us,
He liked this well and thought 'twas smart,
And when you'd just sat down for supper,
He roared: "All hands to the royal halyards!"
This order nightlong he kept saying,
We rushed to bowlines, sheets, and brace,
We heaved and hauled and kept on stretching,
We gained no inch, but a sweating face!

And on Good Friday he would tell us,
"This is no holiday for you!"
We had the stinkin' workday's pea soup,
Too much, was this, for the Magellan's crew.
We told the skipper: "Nothin' doin'!
No work today, we sing and dance!"
And then the wind shifted against us,
You should have seen the Old Man's glance.

From Songs of the Sea by Stan Hugill (1977)