#03560
Go Down You Blood Red Roses (Jim Payne) video
#2366: YouTube video by gdgest
©2013 ~ Used with permission ~

Our boots and shoes are all in pawn,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down;
It's mighty drafty 'round Cape Horn,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

And destroy your pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

Well, my old mother she wrote to me,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down;
Oh, my dear son, come home from sea,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

And destroy your pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

It's around Cape Horn we're bound to go,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down;
For that is where the whalefish blow,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

And destroy your pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

It's around Cape Horn we're bound to sail,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down;
For a sunken ship will tell no tale,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

And destroy your pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

Well, my old captain said to me,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down;
We'll plunder to a high degree,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

And destroy your pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

When we reach oil we'll dance around,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down;
We'll drive them roses underground,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

And destroy your pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down;
And destroy your pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, go down.

####.... Variant of a traditional halyard sea shanty, Red Blood Roses ....####
This variant was performed by Jim Payne, with choruses by Paul Dean, Paddy Judge, John Joe English [1896-1991] of Branch, St Mary's Bay, NL, and Joe Byrne, live at the Fifth Annual Newfoundland Folk Festival at the St John's Curling Club in 1981.

See more songs by Jim Payne.

Although there are many, often confusing, meanings given for the lyrics to this shanty, Dave (the ancient mariner) gave the following interpretation in The Mudcat Cafe on May 8, 2001: "Hugill's references to this song are contradicted by some old whalermen I knew in England when I was a boy. These men told me the song was about killing whales. In the early morning or late afternoon, the sun shining through the bloody spray that the dying whales blew out of their blow holes as they breathed their last, reminded the men of roses and pinks and posies growing in the garden. As the whales slowly died, the spray got less and less. This made the men's job of towing the whale to the ship easier; and therefore was something they all wished for. Hence the line: Go down, you blood red roses, go down!"

From Wikipedia:
Cape Horn - southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, located on the small Hornos Island. Although not the most southerly point of South America, (which are the Diego Ramirez Islands) Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage; for many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world. However, the waters around the Cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors' graveyard.



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