This song typically features some unorthodox timekeeping to hold and accent normally unaccented syllables.
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You ramblin' boys of Liverpool, I'll have ye's beware, When you go in a Yankee packet ship no dungarees do wear, But have a monkey jacket all unto your command, For there blows some cold nor'westers on the Banks of Newfoundland.
Ch: We'll wash her and we'll scrub her down with holystone and sand, And we'll bid adieu to the Virgin rocks on the Banks of Newfoundland.
We had one Lynch from Ballynahinch, Jimmy Murphy and Mike Moore; It was in the winter of '72 those sea-boys suffered sore. They pawned their clothes in Liverpool and sold them all out of hand, Not thinking of the cold north winds on the Banks of Newfoundland.
We had one lady fair on board, Bridget Reilly was her name. To her I promised marriage and on me she had a claim. She tore up her flannel petticoats to make mittens for our hands, For she could not see the sea-boys freeze on the Banks of Newfoundland.
Now, boys, we're off Sandy Hook, and the land's all covered with snow; The tugboat will take our hawser and for New York we will tow, And when we arrive at the Black Ball dock the boys and the girls will stand; We'll bid adieu to packet-sailing and the Banks of Newfoundland.
Last Ch:We'll wash her and we'll scrub her out with holystone and sand, For it's whilst we're here we can't be there, on the Banks of Newfoundland!