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American Ballads and Folk Songs
For he'll spend and spend and never offend,
But he'll lay drunk on the ground, ground, ground:
When my money is gone it's the same old song: Get up, Jack! John, sit down!
When Jack is old and weatherbeat,
Too old to roustabout, In some rum-shop they'll let him stop,
At eight bells he's turned out. Then he cries, he cries up to the skies:
"I'll soon be homeward bound, bound, bound." When my money is gone it's the same old song:
Get up, Jack! John, sit down!
"Frank Vickery, mate of the four-masted cargo schooner Avon Queen,) whose home port is on the Mirimichi River in New Brunswick, began during a lonely anchor watch one night to relate some of his experiences with well-known boarding-house masters during the great days of sail. These memories brought to his mind the rare forecastle ballad of cJack Wrack'—how Jack lost his money on the famous Barbary Coast in Frisco, and was shipped off to sea again in a whaler bound to the Bering grounds, for a long voyage which may have lasted two or three years.
" 'Shanghai' Brown is among that coterie of more notorious boarding-house masters who were known to nearly every sailorman. His place stood on Battery Street in San Francisco in the days when shipmasters must pay head money for their crews and when men before the mast were the prey of land sharks who took their money and their advances and then hustled them into the forecastles of outward-bounders. I have heard the song under the title 'Ben Breezer,' also, while the lines of a variant called 'Dixie Brown' are to be found in Mackenzie's Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia."
* From William Doerfiinger, New York City.