The Limejuice Ship (Long Chorus)

Interesting Facts about The Limejuice Ship (Long Chorus)

“The Limejuice Ship (Long Chorus)” is the forebitter really. Stan Hugill tells us about this song was also used at pumps, and sometimes at the capstan. The Merchant Shipping Act came out in the year 1894. The document laid down the amount of food, water, etc. sailor was allowed when on shipboard. This doling out of rations was known to him as “Pound and Pint”. The Act also covered fines and punishments for delinquent mariners, such as “For concealing Knuckledusters, Slung-shot, sword-stick, etc. 5s. for each day of concealment’, and many commandments and regulations in a similar strain. According to Stan Hugill, the item around which the sarcastic song was built; has the Yanks’ origin. This is because American sailors call English sailors “Limejuicers”, It was due to the daily issuing of lime juice to British crews when they had been at a certain number of days at sea.

Stan Hugill’s version

Stan Hugill’s version of the song is partly that of his father and partly that of a shipmate, Arthur Spencer. The sailors sang this song in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia version of the song is one about “Sauerkraut and bully” sung in the Lunenburg dialect.

The source of this forebitter

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 58, 59).

The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 58, 59).

The Record of The Limejuice Ship (Long Chorus)

I will sing this song as a forebitter.

You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.

The Limejuice Ship (Long Chorus) - Forebitter

The musical notation

the-limejuice-ship-long-horus - music notation

The full lyrics

The Limejuice Ship (Long Chorus)

Now, if ye want a merchant ship to sail the sea at large
Ya’ll not have any trouble if ye have a good discharge,
Signed by the Board o’ Trade an’ ev’rything exact,
For there’s nothin’ done on a Limejuice ship contrary to the Act.

– So haul, boys, yer weather main brace an’ ease a-way yer lee
– Hoist jibs an’ tops’ls lads an’ let the ship go free,
– Hurrah, boys, hurrah! We’ll sing this Jubilee,
– Damn an bugger the Navy, boys, A merchant ship for me!

* 2 *

Now when ye join a merchant ship ye’ll hear yer Articles read.
They’ll tell ye of yer beef an’pork, yer butter an’ yer bread,
Yer sugar, tea an’ coffee, boys, yer peas an’ beans exact,
Yer limejuice an’ vinegar, boys, according to the Act.

* 3 *

No watch an’ watch the first day out, according to the Act.
Ten days out we all lay aft to get our limejuice whack.
Fetch out her handy billy, boys, and clap it on the tack,
For we gonna set the mains’l, oh, according to the Act.

* 4 *

Its up the deck, me bully boys, with many a curse we go,
Awaiting to hear eight bells struck that we might go below.
Eight bells is struck, the watch is called, the log is hove exact;
Relieve the wheel an’ go below, according to the Act.

Related to this Forebitter

The Five-Gallon Jar

The Gals O’ Dublin Town (A)


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