[home]                     [song index]                         [about miriam]


(learned from UC Hiking Club in 1958 or 1959)

(staff with melody)

'Twas on a Friday night and not far from land, way down in the southern seas,
That our ship lay at anchor off a coral reef, a-waitin' for a breeze.
The captain, he was down below, the men were lyin' about,
When from under our bow we heard a yell, and then a regular shout,
    Singin', Blow ye winds, yo ho! blow ye winds, yo ho!
    Bear away the mornin' dew, and blow ye winds, yo ho!

Man overboard, the lookout cried, and afore then all of us ran,
When we saw hangin' on to our best bower chain a jolly old bluff merman.
His hair was blue, his eyes were green, his mouth was as big as three,
But the long green tail he sat upon went wriggling down into the sea,
    Singin', Blow ye winds, yo ho! (etc.)

Hello! cried the mate, as bold as brass, what cheer, messmate, cried he.
Oh, I want to speak to your noble captain, I've a favor to ask of he.
For I've been out all night at a small tea-fight at the bottom of the deep blue sea,
'Twould break your heart to hear them moan and the run that they've had with me,
    Singin', Blow ye winds, yo ho! (etc.)

So, the captain, he came back on deck, and he looked at the waters blue.
Come, tell me, my man, and as quick as you can, what favor I can do for you.
Oh, you've dropped your anchor in front of my house, and blocked up my only door,
And my wife can't get out to run about, nor my chicks, one, two, three, and four,
    Singin', Blow ye winds, yo ho! (etc.)

The anchor, my man, shall be raised at once, and your wife and your chicks set free.
But I never saw a scale, from a sprat to a whale, till now that could speak with me.
Oh, your figurehead is like a sailor bold, and you speak like an Englishman,
But where did you get that wonderful tail, come, answer me that if you can.
    Singin', Blow ye winds, yo ho! (etc.)

A long time ago, from the ship Hero I fell overboard in a gale.
And away down below, where the seaweeds grow, I met a lovely young girl with a tail.
She saved my life, and I made her my wife, and my legs changed instantly,
And now I am married to a fair mermaid, and I live at the bottom of the sea,
    Singin', Blow ye winds, yo ho! (etc.)

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)