Henry's Songbook

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Paddy Lay Back

  • (Trad)

    Paddy lay back, take in your slack
    Take a turn around the capstan, heave a pawl
    About ship's stations, boys, be handy
    We're bound for Valparaiso round the Horn

    It was a cold and dreary morning in December
    And all of my money being spent
    What day it was I hardly can remember
    When down to the shipping office I went
    That day there was a great demand for sailors
    From the colonies, from Frisco and from France
    So I shipped upon a limey barque, The Hotspur
    And got paralytic drunk on my advance

    Some of the fellas had been drinking
    And me myself was heavy on the booze
    So I sat upon my old sea chest a-thinking
    I'd just turn in and have myself a snooze
    I wished I was in 'The Jolly Sailor'
    Along with Irish Kate, just drinking beer
    Then I thought, what happy lads were sailors
    And with my flipper I wiped away a tear

    We got all the tugs up alongside
    They towed us from the wharf and out to sea
    With half the crew just puking o'er the shipside
    And the other half were puking over me
    The bosun said he couldn't savvy 'cos
    The crew were speaking lingos all galore
    So the Old Man thought the only thing to do was
    Pay us ugly buggers off and ship some more

    (as sung by Hamish Imlach & Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1961:] limey - The origin of the Yanks calling English sailors 'Limejuicers' [...] was the daily issuing of limejuice to British crews when they had been a certain number of days at sea, to prevent scurvy, according to the 1894 Merchant Shipping Act (Hugill, Shanties 54)

    It was both a forebitter and a capstan song and a very popular one too, especially in Liverpool ships. [...] It is a fairly old song dating back to the Mobile cotton hoosiers and has two normal forms: one with an eight-line verse - this was the forebitter form; and the second with a four-line verse - the usual shanty pattern. Doerflinger gives a two-line verse pattern as the shanty - a rather unusual form, and further on in his book he gives the forebitter with both four- and eight-line verses. He gives the title of the shanty as Paddy, Get Back and both his versions of the forebitter as Mainsail Haul. Shay, Sampson and Bone all suggest that it was a fairly modern sea-song and give no indication that any form was sung as a shanty, but all my sailing-ship acquaintances always referred to it as a shanty, and it was certainly sung in the Liverpool-New York Packets as such - at least the four-line verse form. [...] Verses from 11 onwards [of the 19 verses given, incl. v. 3, lines 1-4 above] are fairly modern and nothing to do with the Packet Ship seamen, but with the chorus of 'For we're bound for Vallaparaiser round the Horn' are what were sung by Liverpool seamen engaged in the West Coast Guano Trade. The version I give was often brought to a close by singing verse 14 as [v. 3, lines 5-8 above]. (Hugill, Shanties 240ff)

    pawl - short bar of metal at the foot of a capstan or close to the barrel of a windlass which engage a serrated base so as to prevent the capstan or windlass 'walking back'. [...] The clanking of the pawls as the anchor cable was hove in was the only musical accompaniment a shanty ever had! (Hugill, Shanties 414)

Quelle: England?

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aktualisiert am 01.05.2002