Row, Bullies, Row

(Roll, Julia, Roll; Liverpool Judies; First to California, Oh, Fondly I Went)

From Eng-land to... California I went,
To stay in that country was my full intent,
But drinking bad whiskey, like ev'ry damn fool,
Soon got me imported back to Liverpool.

Julia, roll!
Roll! Julia, roll!
The Liverpool girls they've got us in tow!

The Alaska of Boston lies down in the Bay,
Waiting for a fair wind to get under way.
The sailors on board, so sick and so sore,
Their whiskey's all gone, they can't get no more.

Here comes our mate, with his jacket so blue;
He's looking for work for the sailors to do.
Then "Jib tops'l halliards!" he loudly does roar,
Saying, "Lay aloft, Paddy, you son of a whore!"

That night off Cape Horn I shall never forget,
And well I remember, I think of it yet,
She was running bows under, and the sailors all wet.
She was scudding twelve knots with her main skys'l set.

Here's to our captain, wherever he be,
He's a friend to his sailors on land or on sea;
But as for our mate, he's a dirty old brute,
And I hope when he dies straight to hell he'll skyhoot.

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

When I war (was) a youngster I sail'd with the rest,
On a Liverpool packet bound out to the West,
We anchor'd one day in the harbor of Cork
Then put out to sea for the port of New York.

Singin' "roll, roll, bullies roll",
Them Liverpoorl Judies have got us in tow

For forty-two days we wuz hungry an' sore,
Oh, the winds were agin us, the gales they did roar,
Off Battery Point we did anchor at last,
Wid our jibboom hove in an' the canvas all fast.

De boardin'-house masters wuz off in a trice,
A-shoutin' an' promisin' all that wuz nice,
An' one fat ol' crimp he got cotton'd to me,
Sez he, "Yer a fool, lad, ter follow the sea."

Sez he, "There's a job as is waitin' for you,
Wid lashin's o' liquor an' beggar-all to do."
Sez he, "What d'yer say, lad, will you jump her too?"
Sez I, "Ye ol' bastard, I'm damned if I do."

But de best o' intentions dey niver gits far,
After forty-two days at the door of a bar,
I tossed off me liquor an' what d'yer think?
Why the lousy ol' bastard had drugs in me drink.

The next I remembers I woke in de morn,
On a three-skys'l yarder bound south round Cape Horn,
Wid an ol' suit of oilskins an' two pair of sox,
An' a bloomin' great head an' a dose of the pox.

Now all ye young sailors take a warnin' from me,
Keep a watch on yer drinks whin de liquor is free,
An' pay no attention to runner or whore,
Or yer head'll be thick an' yer throat'll be sore.

From Songs of the Sea by Stan Hugill (1977)