Interesting Facts about the Blow The Man Down (D)
Here is one of the most favorite shanties is the tops’l halyard shanty “Blow The Man Down (D)”. Stan Hugill had this version from Bosun Chenoworth, ex-Dundee whaler.
The six major versions of “Blow The Man Down” are as follows:
(a) – The Flash Packet (from Ratcliffe Highway).
(b) – The Sailing of the Blackballer.
(c) – The Flying Fish Sailor or Policeman Version.
(d) – The Fishes.
(e) – THe Milkmaid.
(f) – Bungyereye.
This one is “The Fishes” version.
I would also like to thank Artur Pietrzykowski for the wonderful illustration that you can find at the beginning of the record.
The source of this sea shanty
The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 203). Stan Hugill left a record on his album: “Chants des Marins Anglais (1992)” where singing with Stormalong John, and this is the version with melody and tempo, I try to replicate.
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 209, 210).
The Record of the Blow The Man Down (D)
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
Blow The Man Down (D)
I’ll sing ye a song o’ the fish o’ the sea,
– Timme WAY, hay, BLOW the man down!
An’ I trust that ye’ll join in the chorus with me.
– Ooh! GIMME us some time to BLOW the man down!
* 2 *
There wuz once an old skipper, I don’t know his name,
But I know that he once played a ruddy smart game.
* 3 *
When his ship lay becalmed in a tropical sea,
He whisteled all day but he could get no breeze.
* 4 *
But a seal heard his whistle an’ loudy did call,
Just smow yer light canvas, jib spanker, an’ all.
* 5 *
I’ll send ye some fish to consult if ye please,
The best way to get ye a nice whistling breeze.’
* 6 *
Oh, first came the herring, sain’, ‘I’m King o’ the Seas’,
He jumped on the poop: ‘Oh, the Capen I’ll be!’
* 7 *
Next came the flatfish, they call him a skate:
‘If ye’ll be the capen, why then I’m the mate.’
* 8 *
Then next came the hake, he wuz black as a rook,
Sez he, ‘I’m no sailor, I’ll ship as the cook.’
* 9 *
Next came the shark with his two rows of teeth,
‘Cook, mind you the cabbage, an’ I’ll mind the beef!’
* 10 *
Then came the eel with his slippery tail,
He climbed up aloft an’ he cast off each sail.
* 11 *
Next came to codfish with his chuckle-head,
He jumped in the chains an’ began heavin’ the lead.
* 12 *
Next came the flounder that lies on the ground,
Sayin’, ‘Damn yer eyes, chucklehead, mind how ye sound!
* 13 *
Then came the conger, as long as a mile,
He gave a broad grin an’ continued to smile.
* 14 *
Then came the porpoise with his pointed snout,
He went to the wheel shoutin’, ‘Ready about!’
* 15 *
Then came the mackrel with his his pretty striped back,
He hauled aft each street, an’ he boarded each tack.
* 16 *
Then came the whale, the biggest in the sea,
Shoutin’, ‘Haul in yer head sheets, now, hellums a lee!’
* 17 *
Then came the sprat, he wuz smalled o’ all,
He jumped on the poop cryin’, ‘Maintawps’l haul!’
* 18 *
The mackerel the skipper did scoff for his tea,
The herring he salted, the seal harpooned he.
* 19 *
He baited a hook, an’ he thougt it a lark,
To catch as he did that hoary ol’ shark.
* 20 *
The eel it wuz tasty, the hake it wuz strong,
The flounder he speared with a lance o’ three prongs.
* 21 *
The skate he speared next, but the purpose wuz fast,
The conger it grinned an’ it grinned to the last.
* 22 *
He caught the ol’ whale, which wuz no simple task,
An’ soon with whale-oil he had filled up each cask.
* 23 *
With the head o’ the codfish he made a fine pipe,
The sprat then he salted, but ’twas only a bite.
* 24 *
The breeze it blew merrily sailed he,
But what an’ ol’ bastard than skipper must be!