Interesting Facts about the A Long Time Ago (A)
A Long Time Ago (A) was very popular on English and American Ships. It was probably, in the nineties of XIX century of the most-used halyard shanty of them all. Even the German and Scandinavians popularized versions in their own tongues. This song was sung as halyard shanty.
The source of this sea shanty
The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 97). I try to recreate this song from hearted Stan Hugill’s version from the album “Shanties From The Seven Seas” (1962).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 97, 98).
The Record of the A Long Time Ago (A)
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 musical notation
The full lyrics
A Long Time Ago (A)
O-ho, there ships they lay in Frisco Bay,
– Timme WAY, hay, HO,high ho!
There ships they lay in Frisco Bay,
– Oh a LONG time aGO!
* 2 *
These smart Yankee packets lay out in the Bay,
All a-waiting a fair wind to get under way,
* 3 *
With all their poor sailors so weak an’ so sad,
They’d drunk all their limejuice, no more could be had.
* 4 *
With all their poor sailors so sick an’ so sore,
They’d scoffed all their whack an’ they couldn’t get more.
* 5 *
Oh, I sailed out of ‘Frisco in a full rigged ship,
I sailed out o’ ‘Frisco in a full-rigged ship.
* 6 *
Her masts wuz of silver an’ her yards wuz of gold,
Her masts wuz of silver an’ her yards wuz of gold.
* 7 *
We wuz bound for New York with a cargo o’ gold,
Bound south ’round the Hotn through the ice an’ the cold.
* 8 *
In eighteen hundred and ninety-four,
We shipped in a drogher bound for Singapore.
* 9 *
An’ I fell in love with young Malay maid,
She swiped all me money, before I wuz paid
* 10 *
My ol’ mum she wrote to me,
She wrote to me to come home from sea.
* 11 *
Says she ‘Me son, ye’ll rue the day,
When the girls have blown, lad, all yer pay.
* 12 *
She sent me some money, she sent me some clothes,
But I spent all the money an’ pawned the clothes.
* 13 *
An’ ever since then I have thought of her word,
‘Twas the finest advice that a man ever heard.
* 14 *
An’ as soon as I gits me feet on shore,
I,ll ship as a bosun of a little rum store.
* 15 *
An’ if ever I gits me feet on land,
I’ll ship as some young lady’s fancyman.
* 16 *
Oh, a long time, an’ a very long time,
Tis a very long time since I first made this rhyme.