Interesting Facts about The Fire Ship
This is another “Roll” shanty sang at pumps, Old English Ballad “The Fire Ship”. The ballad is potentially much older, than her shanty version and is dated to the XVII century. As a shanty, many of the verses are unprintable!
I will sing this song as a capstan shanty. And try to recreate this song from hearted Stan Hugill’s version from the album “Sailing Days” (1991), with “Stormalong John” as a crew.
Last note, this song was recorded two years ago and at the time I record it I didn’t have as much knowledge about shanties as I have now so pronunciation can be not perfect. The text I sang has differed from this one from the book, below you can find the original text from “Shanties from the Seven Seas”.
The source of this sea shanty
The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 171, 172).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 171, 172).
The Record of The Fire Ship
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 full lyrics
The Fire Ship
Oh, as I strolled out one evening, out for a night’s career,
I spied a lofty clipper ship an’ arter her I steer.
I hoisted up her sig-a-nals, which she so quickly knew,
An’ when she seed me bunting fly, she immediately hove to.
– Oh, she’d a dark an’ a rolling eye,
– An’ her hair hung downs in ring-a-lets.
– She wuz a nice gal–a decent gal, but…
– one of the rakish kind.
* 2 *
Kind sir, ye must excuse me, for being out so late,
For if me parents knew o’ it, then sad would be my fate.
Me father, he’s a minister, a true and honest man,
My mother she’s a Methodist, an’ I do the best I can.
* 3 *
I eyed that wench full warily, for talk like this I knew,
She seemed a little owerbold, she lied for all I knew,
But still she was a comely wench, her lips a ruby red,
Her bosom full, her hips so slim, she coyly hung her head.
* 4 *
I took her to a tav-er-in and treated her to wine.
Little did I think that she belong to the the rakish kind.
I handled her, I dandled her, an’ found to my surprise,
She wuz nothin’ but a fire ship, rigged up in a disguise.
* 5 *
And so I deemed her company for a sailorman like me.
I kissed her once, I kissed her twice, said she, ‘Be nice to me’
I fondled her, I cuddled her, I bounced her on me knee.
She wept, she sighed an’ then she cried, ‘Jack, will ye sleep wi’ me?’
(Two verses omitted.)
* 8 *
Now all ye jolly sailorman that sail the Western Sea,
An’ all ye jolly ‘prentice lads a warnin’ take from me,
Steer clear o’ lofty fire ships, for me they left well-spent.
For one burnt all me money up, an’ left me broke an’ bent.