We'll either bend or break 'er: Lyrics

Danny Spooner, We'll Either Bend or Break 'er, Sandstock Music SSM 027, 1988/DS003, 2002


Outward bound

From the Liverpool docks we bid adieu
To Kate and Sally and Kitty and Sue,
Our anchor's weighed and the sails unfurled
And we're bound half way across the world.

For we are outward bound,
Hoorah we're outward bound.

The wind it comes from the nor'nor'east,
Our ship can make ten knots at least,
The pusser will our needs supply, (purser)
And while there's grog, we'll never say die.

And if we touch at Malabar
Or any other port as far,
The pusser he will chip the clink, (hand out money)
And like the fishes we will drink.

At last the old man comes on board,
The sails are bent, we're manned and stored,
The Peter's hoisted to the fore (Blue Peter, sailing flag)
Farewell, farewell to me Liverpool whore.

All Bound to Go

There's some is bound for New York town
And others is bound for France,
Heave away me Johnnies, heave, heave away;
And there's some is bound for the Bengal Bight
To teach the whales to dance,
And away me bully boys we're all bound to go.

An advance pay in our pockets boys
It's bound to take us far,
We'll cruise along old Lime Street,
And straight to the American Bar.

In two days time we'll put to sea
Down the Mersey we will slip;
And the flash gals will be waiting
When we gets home next trip.

Yhe pilot he is a-waiting
The turning of the tide,
And soon we will be sailing
With a good and a westerly wynd.

And when we gits back home agin
Our pockets lined once more,
We'll spend it all wiv them flash gels
Then goo to sea one more.

So merrily let yer voices ring
Me bullies heave and bust,
Ain't no use caterwallin',
Growl ye may but go ye must.

The Blackball Line

I served me time in the Blackball Line,
Timme, way,ay,ay hoorah oh,
In the Blackball line I wasted me prime,
Hoorah for the Blackball Line.

Just take a trip to Liverpool,
To Liverpool that packet school.
Yankee sailors ye'll see there
Wiv red-topped boots and short cut hair.

There's Liverpool Pat wiv his tarpaulin hat
And Paddy McGee that packet rat.

Oh once there was a blackball ship,
That fourteen knots along could slip.

Around Cape Stiff wiv the wiv the mains'ls set
Around Cape Stiff all wringing wet.

They'll carry yer through the frost and snow,
They'll take yer where the winds don't blow.

When a Blackball liner's ready fer sea,
The sights on the fo'c'sls funny to see.

There's tinkers, fakirs, soljers all
On a Blackball ship they're sailors all.

So drink a health to the Blackball Line,
Their ships are stout and their men are fine.

And when we git to New York Town,
We'll meet old Pat and drink till we drown.

Hilo Johnny Brown

Sally is a gal that I loves dearly
Way, hey Sally Oh.
Sally is a gal that I loves dearly,
Hilo Johnny Brown stand to yer ground

Sally is a gal wiv long black hair oh,
Rob yer blind and leave yer bare oh.

Sally she is a bright mullater
A nice little gal but I can't git at her.

Sally she is a big buck nigger,
Her bow is big but her arse is bigger.

Sally where shall I stow the cargo?
Stow some forrad and stow some after. (forward)

Use yer weight and stretch her luff boys
I think be Christ we've hauled enough boys.

Blow Boys Blow

Oh blow me boys I loves to hear yer
Blow boys blow
Oh blow me boys I loves to hear yer
Blow me bully boys blow.

A yankee ship beat round the Horn
As she rolls her down her tops'ls shone.

She's a Blackball ship as true as ever,
Her masts and spars they shone like silver.

And how do ye know she's a Blackball clipper?
Be the blood and guts that runs in her scuppers.

And how doye know she's a Blackball liner?
Be the Stars and Bars that flies behind her.

Sail oh! Sail Oh, she's the Shenandoah,
Wiv a shanghaied crew and full of sugar.

And who'd ye think is the skipper of her?
Oh Shotgun Murphy the tough old bugger.

She rolls her scroll below the water,
As the wind tries to tear the mainmast from her.

She's homeward bound from old Hawaii
Where them dark eyed gels love the men from the sea.

Johnny Bowker

Do me Johnny Bowker come rock and roll me over,
Do me Johnny Bowker do

Do me Johnny Bowker from Calais up to Dover

Do me Johnny Bowker the mate he is a croaker,

Do me Johnny Bowker the bosun's never sober,

Do me Johnny Bowker the old man he's a soaker,

Do me Johnny Bowker well either bend or break her,

Do me Johnny Bowker just one more drag and choke her.

Shallow Brown

Oh come and git me clothes in order
Shallow, oh Shallow Brown,
Gonna cross the stormy water
Oh, Shallow, oh Shallow brown.

Shallow Brown massa's gonna sell me,
Sell me for the Yankee dollar.

Bound away to ol' Virginia,
Love yer well my Julianna.

Think I'll ship aboard a Yankee whaler,
Go and be a deep sea sailor.

Bound away, I'm bound to leave yer,
But I never ever will deceive yer.

Fare thee well my Julianna,
Never know how much I loves yer.

Paddy Doyle's Boots

T' me, way hey hey yah!
We'll pay Paddy Doyle fer his boots.

T' me, way hey hey yah!
We'll all shave under the chin.

T' me, way hey hey yah!
We'll all drink whiskey and gin.

T' me, wat hey hey yah!
We'll all sling mud at the cook.

T' me, way hey hey yah!
We'll pay Paddy Doyle fer his boots.

Bring 'em Down

In Liverpool I was born,
Bring 'em down,
London is me home from home,
Bring 'em down.

In Liverpool I was bred,
Strong in the back and thick in the head.

Calio gals I do love so,
Waggle their arse wiv a roll and go.

Liverpool gals I do adore,
Rob yer blind and askl fer more.

When I git home from off the sea,
It's Jinny will yer marry me.

Bring 'em down it is the cry,
The bloody topmast sheave is dry.

Rock and roll her over boys,
Git this damned job over boys.

Hieland Laddie

Was ye ever in Quebec?
Bonny laddie, hieland laddie,
Stowing timber on the deck,
Me bonny hieland laddie;
Way hey and away we go
Bonny laddie hieland laddie,
Way hey and away we go,
Me bonny hieland laddie.

Was ye ever in Mobile Bay,
Screwing cotton all the day.

Was ye ever off Cape Horn,
Where the weather's never warm.

Was ye ever in Mirrimashee,
Where yer tie up to a tree.

Was yeever in Valipo,
Where them gals is never slow.

Was ye ever in Dundee,
There some pretty ships ye'll see.

Homeward Bound

And when our cargo they've turned out,
We'll quickly put the ship about,
And when we're home and once more free
Oh wont we have a jolly old spree;
For we are homeward bound,
Hoorah we're homeward bound.
One day the man in the lookout,
"There's a sail to the wind'ard" he do shout,
It's a pilot standing out from land
And up on deck comes every man.
For we are homeward bound etc.

And when we gets to the Liverpool Docks,
Them pretty gals come down in flocks,
And one to another ye'll hear 'em say,
"Oh here comes Jack wiv his eight months pay.
For I see he's homeward bound etc.

Then we''l all haul to the Dog and Bell
Where there's good pizon for to sell,
In comes grouser with a smile saying,
"Drink up lads it's worth yer while,
For I see etc.

Doodle Let Me Go

I met a merchants daughter once
Belonged to Calio,
Hoorah me yaller gals, doddle let me go,
She rolled her hips, she winked her eye
It really was a show,
Hoorah me yaller gals, doddle let me go.
Doddle let me go me gals, doddle let me go,
Hoorah me yaller gals doddle let me go.

She took me in, she give me gin,
And quickly barred the door,
We danced upon the sofa
And we danced upon the floor.

"Don't goo back ter sea" she said ter me
As in me arms she lay,
"For I 'ave gold and silver
And I wont fer you to stay."

Me ship she lies at anchor
And awaits the mornin' tide,
But if I do come back again
I'll make of you a bride.

Farewell me little yaller gal
Be sure to think of me,
I'll we wiv you next time around
And I will quit the sea.

Blood Red Roses

Me boots and clothes is all in pawn,
G'down ye blood red roses, g'down;
And it's flamin' drafty round Cape Horn,
G'down ye blood red roses, g'down
Oh ye pinks and poses,
G'down ye blood red roses, g'down

Around Cape Stiff we all must go,
Around Cape Stiff in the ice and snow.

It's growl ye may but go ye must,
Ye growl to 'ard, yer 'ead they'll bust.

Topmen up the mate do roar,
It's lay aloft ye lazy whore,

Rock and shake her is the cry,
The bleedin' topmast sheave is dry.

It's one more pull and that'll do,
For we're the boys to kick her through.

Haul in the bowline

Haul in the bowline, me Kitty comes from Liverpool,
Haul in the bowline, the bowline haul.

Haul in the bowline, Liverpool's afine town.

Haul in the bowline, the fore and main t'bowline

Haul in the bowline, the fore t'gallant bowline.

Haul in the bowline, me bully ships a-rolling.

Haul in the bowline, we'll haul fer better weather.

Haul in the bowline, and bust the chafin' leather

Haul in the bowline, we'll either bend or break 'er.

Haul in the bowline, it's a long day t' payday

Haul in the bowline, wast 'eavin' the bowline.

Reuben Ranzo

Oh Jesus Christ Almighty
Ranzo boys, Ranzo,
Oh Jesus Christ Almighty,
Ranzo me boys Ranzo.

Oh Ranzo was no sailor,
But he shipped aboard a whaler.

He washed once in a fortnight,
And said it was his birthright.

Because he was so dirty,
The captain give him thirty.

The captain ordered thirty
But his daughter begged fer mercy.

She took 'im to her cabin,
To try and ease his aching.

She fed him rum and water,
And a bit more than she oughta.

She give 'im ejercation,
And taught 'im navigation.

She made him the best sailor,
Aboard that Yankee whaler.

Old Ranzo's now a skipper,
Aboard a Yankee whaler.

And he's known wherever the whalefish blow,
As the toughest bastard on the go.

Whiskey Johnny

Whiskey is the life of man,
Bin this way since time began,
Whiskey oh, Johnny oh rise her up from down below,
Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey oh, up aloft this yard must go,
John rise her up from down below,

Whiskey giv me this red nose,
And whiskey makes me pawn me clothes.

When whiskey comes so near me nose,
It's up it comes and down it goes.

Oh whiskey makes me friends me foes,
It makes me fight the mate also.

A tot of whiskey for each man,
And a bucketful for the shantyman.

Whiskey stole me brains away,
But I can 'ear the bosun say.

Haul away for Rosie

Ya can talk about yer Bootle gals like up in a corner Sally
Away haul away, we'll haul away for rosie,
Away haul away, we'll haul away for Rosie Oh.
But there's none that shove the jug like the gals from Dog-leg Alley,
Away haul away, we'll haul away for Rosie,
Away haul away, we'll haul away for Rosie Oh.

Once I had an Irish gal her name was Kitty Flanagan,
She stole me boots, she stole me watch, she stole me pot and pannikin.

Then I had a Le Harvard gal and she was little and saucey,
Then I had a Mulatto gal and she was fat and lazy.

Once in me life I married a wife and damn her she was lazy,
She wouldn't work, she wouldn't wash she bloody near drove me crazy.

Went out one night and oh what a sight and where do ye think I found her,
Behind the pub wi' her sheets pulled up and twenty men around her.

Reach up me lads, sit on yer arse and split her fanning cocks now,
Reach up me lads sit on yer arse, I think we've hauled enough now.

Liverpool Judies

From Liverpool to 'frisco a-roving I went
To live in that country it was my intent;
But drinking strong liquor like other damned fools
I soon was transported down to Liverpool.

Chorus And it's row, row bullies row,
Them Liverpool judies has got us in tow.

I joined the 'Alaska' lying out in the bay,
A-waiting a fair wind to get under way,
Her crew was all weary, so sick and so sore
They'd had too much liquor and had too much whore.

Then up stepped the mate in a hell of a stew,
Looking for work for the sailors to do,
It's foretops'l halyards he loudly do roar
And lay aloft Paddy you son of an whore,

One night off Cape Horn I shall never forget,
And oftimes I sighs when I thinks of it yet;
She was making twelve knots wi' her main skys'l set
And diving bows under with the whole of us wet.

We was hauling and pumping the whole bloody way,
Be Jesus on that trip we sure earned our pay,
Our mate was a cow-son the bosun was worse
With brass knuckles they added some weight to a curse.

Here's a health to Captain Samuels wherever he be,
A friend to a sailor on land or at sea,
But as the the first mate when his life do pass,
I hope that he hangs from the yard by his brass.

Leave her Johnny

Oh the work was hard and the wages low,
Leave 'er Johnny, leave 'er
But now at last ashore we'll go,
And it's time for ud to leave 'er.
Leave 'er Johnny, leave 'er oh,
Leave 'er Johnny, leave 'er
And now at last ashore we'll go
And it's time for us to leave 'er.

Oh a dollar a day is a shellback's pay,
To pump all night and haul all day.

"It's pump or drown" the old man said,
"It's pump ye whores or we'll all be dead."

No more Cape Horn, no more stand by,
We'll pump 'er out and leave 'er dry.

Oh the rats are gone and we the crew,
It's damned high time we left 'er too.

Well I thought I heard the old man say,
"Just one suckoh! And then belay".

Garry Gillard | New: 10 May, 2008 | Now: 20 December, 2018