The Big Five-Gallon Jar

(Cal and Jack, the Shanghaiers)

In Liverpool there liv'd a man, Jack Jennings was his name
And in the days of square-rigged sail, he played the shanghai game.
His wife's name was Caroline, sailors knew from near and far;
And when she played the shanghai game she used his big stone jar.

In the old Virginia lowlands, lowlands low,
In the old Virginia lowlands low!

There were drunkards in the corner and bummers at the bar,
And Caroline was supplying them with a big five-gallon jar.

Lines missing

Said old Jack to old Caroline, "I'll tell you what we'll do.
There's a ship lying down to McKinnon's Wharf; I think she wants a crew.
We'll go down around the corners to get some drunken tars.
We'll shanghai them away out of Liverpool Bay with a big five-gallon jar!"

So Jack and Cal, they worked their game when the ships signed on their tars.
Skys'l Jack and Pete and Bowline Bill helped to judge old Cal's five-gallon jar.
Now we'll bid adieu to Cal and Jack and set our sails for ports afar.
Dear Shanghai Cal, we'll call come back, and sample Jack's five gallon jar.

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