Salt Horse Chantey

(Sailor's Grace)

Salt Horse, Salt Horse, both near and far,
You're food for every hard work'd tar;
In strongest brine you have been sunk,
Until as hard and coarse as "Junk";
To eat such tough and wretched fare,
Would whiten e'ev a Negro's hair,
Salt Horse, Salt Horse, What brought you here

Salt horse, salt horse, we'd have you know
That to the "Galley" you must go;
The cook without a sign of grief
Will boild you down, and call you beef;
And, we poor sailors standing near,
Must eat you, though you look so queer;
Salt horse, salt horse, that brought you here.

From Sailors' Songs or "Chanties" by Frederick J. Davis and Ferris Tozer (1886)

Old horse, old horse, what brought you here?
You have been dead for many a year.
You carted stones from Ballyhack
Till you fell down and broke your back.
You put up with sore abuse;
Now you're salted down for sailors' use
Who pick your bones and suck the juice.
And if you don't believe it's true,
Look in the harness cask and you'll find a horse and shoe!

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

Between the main-mast and the pumps
There stands a cask of Irish junks;
And if you won't believe it true,
Look, and you'll see the hoof and shoe.
Salt horse, salt horse, what brought you here,
After carrying turf for so many a year,
From Bantry Bay to Ballyack,
Where you fell down and broke your back?
With kicks, and thumps, and sore abuse,
You're salted down for sailor's use.
They eat your flesh and pick your bones,
Then throw you over to Davy Jones.

W. C. Russell, Sailors' Language (1883)