#00906
Blow The Man Down (Barry Taylor) MIDI, video
#696 YouTube video by threelegsoman ©2009
~ Used with permission ~

midi file   alt: midi file

Oh, blow the man down, bullies, blow the man down!

As I was a walking down Paradise Street,
  Way, aye, blow the man down;
A pretty young damsel I chanced for to meet,
  Give me some time to blow the man down!

She was round in the counter and bluff in the bow,
  Way, aye, blow the man down;
So I took in all sail and cried, "Way enough now,"
  Give me some time to blow the man down!

So I tailed her my flipper and took her in tow,
  Way, aye, blow the man down;
And yardarm to yardarm away we did go,
  Give me some time to blow the man down!

But as we were going she said unto me,
  Way, aye, blow the man down;
There's a spanking full-rigger just ready for sea,
  Give me some time to blow the man down!

But as soon as that packet was clear of the bar,
  Way, aye, blow the man down;
The mate knocked me down with the end of a spar,
  Give me some time to blow the man down!

It's starboard and larboard on deck you will sprawl
  Way, aye, blow the man down;
For Kicking Jack Williams commands the Black Ball,
  Give me some time to blow the man down!

So I give you fair warning before we belay,
  Way, aye, blow the man down;
Don't ever take head of what pretty girls say,
  Give me some time to blow the man down!
  And give me some time to blow the man down
!

####.... Author unknown. Traditional English sea shanty ....####
This variant was collected by Barry Taylor and published on-line in Barry Taylor's Traditional English Tunebook.

The video above features an excellent performance of a variant by Tony Archibald from Port St Mary on the Isle of Man.

A variant was collected as Blow The Man Down and published as #107 in Ballads And Sea Songs From Nova Scotia by William Roy Mackenzie [1883-1957], editor (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1928; reprinted by Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1963).

Notes:
The original Black Ball Line was an American packet service begun in 1818 between Liverpool and New York.

This is an example of a shanty sung when sailors were pulling ropes. It could be used for both a short-drag or hand-over-hand shanty when the job was to be done quickly with two pulls per verse, or a long-drag or halyard shanty when the job would require more time with one pull per verse.



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