This is an example of the purely professional song, dear to the old-time sailor, and full of seamanship. It was a favourite with the prime old shellback, and was all the more successful in that it had a good chorus about the girls.
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"All hands on board!" our boatswain cries, His voice like thunder roaring; "All hands on board!" his mates reply, 'Tis the signal for unmooring. Then your messenger bring to, Heave your anchor to the bow,
And we'll think of those girls when we're far, far away, And we'll think on those girls when we're far, far away.
Go loose your topsails next he cries, Top gallant sails and courses, Your jibs and royals see all clear, Haul home those sheets, my hearties. With a light and pleasant gale We will crowd aloft our sail.
Your anchor's now a-peek he cries. Vast heaving, lads, vast heaving, Your cat and fish now overhaul, The capstan nimbly leaving. Then obey your boatswain's call, Walk away with that cat-fall.
Farewell to friends, farewell to foes, Farewell to dear relations, We're bound across the ocean blue, Bound for a foreign station. While we cross the raging main, The Union Jack we will maintain.