Interesting Facts about The Liverpool Song
“The Liverpool Song” is the forebitter from “Capstan Bars” by David William Bone (1931 p 139 – 144). Bone itself calls it “fo’ cas’le ditty”, which he says was popular in 1900, and he says he has not heard it since then. It recites the trials of going to sea again after dubious long-shore living, and the chorus is a merry jingle of the order given in putting a ship about.
The source of this sea shanty
The music: “Capstan Bars” by David William Bone (1931 p 140).
The lyrics: “Capstan Bars” by David William Bone (1931 p 139 – 144).
Mentioned in: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 324).
The Record of The Liverpool Song
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
The Liverpool Song
‘Twas in th’ cold month of December,
When all my money I had spent.
I shipped in the Clipper ship ‘Defender’
An’ away to the west-ard I went.
– An’ it is ‘Get ye back.’ Ho!
– Take in y’ er slack.’ Ho!’
– Heave-away th’ capstan. Heave a pawl. Heave a pawl!
– ‘Bount ship: stations, boys, be handy.
– Raise tacks, sheets, an’ mains’l haul!
* 2 *
I joined on the bitter winter’s morning.
A-frappin’ of my arms to keep me warm.
An’ th’ south cone a-hoisted for a warnin’
To stand by th’ makin, of a storm.
* 3 *
It was then that voice I heard a voice a-callin’
I listened and I heard it again.
‘Twas th’ mate at th’ fo’cas’le door a-bawlin’.
‘Oh, lay aft an’ answer t’ y’er name’.
* 4 *
An’ when I arrived upon th’ quarter-deck,
Great Heavens, what a sight was there to see:
There were remnants of nearly every nation.
An’ I tell you th’ sight did sicken me.
* 5 *
There was Dutchmen an’ Roosians an’ Spanish,
An’ Johnny Creepaws straight across from France,
An’ most didn’t know a word of English,
But answered to the name o’ ‘Month’s Advance’.
* 6 *
Now in my chest I had a bottle.
I saw my boarding master put it there.
So I slipped off th’ deck t’ wet my throttle,
To drown off my sorrow an’ my care.
* 7 *
And there I did suffer disappointment.
When I rummaged with my hand among my traps.
There was nought but a box of greasy ointment,
An’ a bottle ‘o Riga Balsam for the chaps.
Related to this Forebitter
Susannavisan (Stan Hugill Translation)