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(learned orally in the 1960s)

(music to go here)

When first I landed in Liverpool I went upon a spree,
My money, at last, I spent it fast, got drunk as drunk could be,
And when me money all was gone, 'twas then that I wanted more,
But a man must be blind to make up his mind to go to sea once more.

I spent the night with Angeline, too drunk to roll in bed,
Me wallet was new and me money too, in the morning with'm she'd fled,
And as I walked the streets of town, the whores they all did roar,
There goes Jack Sprat, the poor sailor lad, he must go to sea once more.

And as I walked the streets of town I met with Rapper Brown,
I asked him for to take me in, he looked at me with a frown,
He says, Last time ya was paid off, with me you chalked no score,
But I'll give ya a chance and I'll take your advance and send you to sea once mo

He put me on a whalin' ship, bound for the northern seas,
Where there's ice and snow, and the cold winds blow, and Jamaica rum would freez
And worse to bear I'd no hard weather gear, I'd lost all me money ashore,
'Twas then that I wished that I were dead so I'd go to sea no more.

Sometimes we're catchin' whales, me boys, sometimes we're catchin' none,
With a twenty-foot oar all in our hands from four o'clock in the morn,
And when the shades of night creep down, we'd rest on our weary oar,
'Twas then that I wished that I were dead or safe with the girls ashore.

Come all you trueborn sailin' lads, and listen to my song,
When you come off of those long trips, I'd have you not go wrong,
Take my advice, drink no strong drink, don't go sleepin' with no whore,
But get married lads, and settle down, and go to sea no more.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)