Paddy, Lay Back

(Paddy, Get Back)

I was broke and out of a job in the city of London;
I went down the Shadwell Docks to get a ship

Paddy, get back, take in the slack!
Heave away your capstan,heave a pawl, heave a pawl!
'Bout ship and stations, there, be handy,
Rise tacks 'n' sheets, 'n' mains'l haul!

There was a Yankee ship a-laying in the basin.
Shipping master told me she was going to New York!

If I ever get my hands on that shipping master,
I will murder him if it's the last thing that I do!

When the pilot left the ship the captain told us
We were bound around Cape Horn to Callao!

And he said that she was hot and still a-heating,
And the best thing we could do was watch our step.

Now, the mate and second mate belond to Boston,
And the captain b'longed in Bangor down in Maine.

The three of them were rough-n'-tumble fighters.
When not fighting amongst themselves they fought with us.

Oh, they called us out one night to reef the tops'ls.
There was belayin' pins a-flyin' around the deck.

We came on deck and went to set the tops'ls.
Not a man among the bunch could sing a song.

Oh, the mate he grabbed ahold of me by the collar.
"If you don't sing a song I'll break your blasted neck!"

I got up and gave them a verse of "Reuben Ranzo."
Oh, the answer that I got would make you sick.

It was three long months before we got to Callao,
And the ship she was a-called a floating hell.

We filled up there at Callao with saltpetre,
And then back again around Cape Horn!


We filled up with saltpetre to the hatches,
And then bound back around Cape Horn to Liverpool.

From Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman by William Main Doerflinger (1951, '72, '91)