MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
A Boatswain's Life For Me
Tom Cornelly NFLD 2 Tape 23 Track 4
(St. Shott's ?) Audio:
Ballad

LEACH: All right let her go
CORNELLY: (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

Eight bells was (coughs)

(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

LEACH: Gee, that's good. It's good.


Notes


History: Found in Newfoundland.

Text: This song describes the daily duties and hardships of a Boatswain. They keep late hours and wake before dawn, their captain makes them work on Sunday's like any other day of the week.

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