Away Susanna!

Interesting Facts about the Away Susanna!

“Away, Susanna” or ” Can’t Ye Dance the Polka” was a popular capstan shanty on both American and British ships. This is the first Stan Hugill’s version that was invariably sung to the “shanghaied in San Francisco” theme. Charlie Evans, Arthur Spence, Bosun Chenoworth, “Artie”, an A. B. of the New Zeland brigantine “Aratapu”, and many other Stan Hugill shipmates all sang these words.
The song will be reconstructed by myself as the capstan shanty.

The source of the Away Susanna!

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 369).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 369-371).

The Record of this sea shanty

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.

Away Susanna! - Capstan Shanty (used at halyard winch)

The musical notation

Away Susanna! - music notation

The full lyrics

Away Susanna!

Shanghaied in San Francisco,
We fetched up in Bombay,
They set us afloat in an old lease boat,
that steered like a bale of hay

– Than away, Susanna,
– My fair maid!
– Oho! ye New York gals,
– Can’t ye dance the polka?

* 2 *

We panted in the tropics,
Whilst the pitch boiled’up on deck,
We’ve saved our hides little else besides,
From an ice-cold North Sea wreck.

* 3 *

We drank our rum in Portland,
We’ve thrashed through the Behring Straits,
An’ we toed the mark on a Yankee barque,
With a hard-case Down-east mate.

* 4 *

We know the quays of Glasgow,
An’ the boom of the lone Azores,
We’ve had our grub from a salt-horse tube,
Condemned by the Navy stores.

* 5 *

We know the track to auckland,
An’ the light of Kinsale Head,
An’ we crept close-hauled while the landsman called,
The depth of the Channel bed.

* 6 *

We know the streets of Santos,
The river at Saigon,
We’ve had our glass with a Chinee lass,
In Ship Street in Hong Kong.

* 7 *

They,ll pay us off in London,
Then it’s oh for a spell ashore,
Then again we’ll ship for a southern trip,
In a week or hardly more.

* 8 *

‘Tis goodbye, Sal an’ Lucy,
‘Tis time we were afloat,
With a straw-stuffed bed, an achin’ head,
A knife an’ an oilskin coat.

* 9 *

Sing ‘Time for us to leave ‘er’,
Sing ‘Bound for the Rio Grande,’
An’ when the tug turns back, we’ll follow her track,
For a last long look at the land.

* 10 *

An’ when the purple disappears,
An’ only the blue is seen,
That’ll take our bones to Davy Jones,
An’ our souls to Fiddler’s Green.

Related to this sea shanty

Paddy Signs On

Paddy Get Back – Dick Maitland

Roller Bowler – Trinidad Version

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