#01858
A Boatswain's Life For Me (MacEdward Leach)
Spoken:
The moon shone bright at twelve that night,
From old King's Island thrust her light;
With a watch on deck and a watch in bed,
Goin' east-half-south for Hollyhead.

Sung:
Then it's oh, boatswain, call the watch,
Sound your whistle shrill,
Eight bells newly struck,
Turn out with a will;
Hoist the mains'l square those yards,
Let your ship go free,
Of all the lives upon the sea,
A boatswain's life for me.


Spoken:
Turn them out, our Captain cried.
It's Sunday, sir, the mate replied.
What is Sunday but a name,
Another day to me is just the same;
Turn the men out and make them work,
And work the scurvy out of their bones.

Sung:
Then it's oh, boatswain, call the watch,
Sound your whistle shrill,
Eight bells newly struck,
Turn out with a will;
Hoist the mains'l square those yards,
Let your ship go free,
Of all the lives upon the sea,
A boatswain's life for me.


Spoken:
Eight bells was struck when Jack awoke,
Before the dawn of day was broke;
He grasped, he strove,
he bent his knees but not in prayer,
Damn and bugger the man that sent him there.

Sung:
Then it's oh, boatswain, call the watch,
Sound your whistle shrill,
Eight bells newly struck,
Turn out with a will;
Hoist the mains'l square those yards,
Let your ship go free,
Of all the lives upon the sea,
A boatswain's life for me.

####.... Author unknown. Original Newfoundland song ....####

Collected in 1951 from Tom Cornelly, possibly of St Shott's, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

GEST notes: Since Tom Cornelly's name is so similar to Tom Cornealy's, it is possible this song was collected from Tom Cornealy of Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, who Helen Creighton described as an informative old shellback (a sailor who has crossed the equator by boat) who claimed to have composed the marine ballad Captain Conrod in 1883, and also sang The Schooner Mary Anne and several shanties for her. This may also be true since no record of Tom Cornelly can be found in St Shott's.


line

Index Page
GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador



line

~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here