Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Paddy Lay Back

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Paddy Lay Back

Paddy Lay Back

'Twas a cold and dreary morning in December
December
All of me money, it was spent,
Spent, spent
Where it went to, Lord, I can't remember
Remember
So down to the shipping office I went
Went, went!

Paddy lay back,
Paddy lay back!
Take in the slack,
Take in the slack
Take a turn around the capstan,
Heave a pawl!
Heave a pawl
About ship's stations, boys, be handy
Be handy!
We're bound for Valipariso 'round the Horn!

That day there was a great demand for sailors,
For the colonies, for 'Frisco and for France.
So I shipped aboard a limey barque, the Hotspur,
An' got paralytic drunk on my advance.

Now I joined her on a cold December mornin',
A-frappin' o' me flippers to keep me warm,
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin',
To stand by the comin' of a storm.

Now some of our fellers had been drinkin',
An' I meself was heavy on the booze.
An' I was on me ol' sea-chest a' thinkin'
I'd turn into me bunk an' have a snooze.

I woke up in the mornin' sick an' sore,
I knew I was outward bound again;
I hears a voice a-bawlin' at the door,
``Lay aft, ye sods, an' answer to yer names.''

'Twas on the quarterdeck where I first saw 'em.
Such an ugly bunch I never seen before,
For there was a bum and stiff from every quarter,
 (For the captain had shipped a shanghai crew of Dutchmen)
An' it made me poor ol' heart feel sick and sore.

There was Spaniards an' Dutchmen an' Rooshians,
An' Johnny Crapoos jist acrost from France.
An' most of them could speak no word of English,
But answered to the name of `Month's Advance!'

I wisht I was in the ``Jolly Sailor,''
Along with Irish Kate a-drinkin' beer,
An' then I thought what jolly chaps were sailors,
An' with me flipper I wiped away a tear.

I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin'-master 'twas put there;
An' I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin' for to drive away dull care.

So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o' the box,
An' what wuz me great surprise an' wonder,
Found only a bottle o' medicine for the pox.

I felt that I should skip an' join another,
'Twas plain that I had joined a lousy bitch;
But the chances wuz that I might join a worser,
An' we might git through the voyage without a hitch.

I axed the mate a-which a-watch was mine-O,
Says he, ``I'll soon pick out a-which is which,''
An' he blowed me down an' kicked me hard a stern-O,
Callin' me a lousy, dirty son o' a bitch.

Now we singled up an' got the tugs alongside,
They towed us through the locks an' out to sea;
With half the crew a-pukin' o'er the ship's side,
An' the bloody fun that started sickened me.

Although me poor ol' head wuz all a-jumpin',
We had to loose her rags the followin' morn;
I dream the boardin'-master I was thumpin',
When I found out he'd sent me around the Horn.

I swore I would become a beachie-comber,
An' niver go to sea no ruddy more;
For niver did I want to be a roamer,
I'd shanghai the boardin'-master an' stay ashore.

But when we got to bully ol' Vallaparaiser,
In the Bay we dropped our mudhook far from shore;
The Ol' Man he refused ter let us raise 'er,
An' he stopped the boardin'-masters comin' aboard.

I quickly made me mind up that I'd jump 'er,
I'd leave the beggar an' git a job ashore;
I swum across the Bay an' went an' left 'er,
An' in the English Bar I found a whore.

But Jimmy the Wop (Crimp) he knew a thing or two, sir,
An' soon he'd shipped me outward bound again;
On a Limey to the Chinchas for guanner,
An' soon wuz I a-roarin' this refrain.

So there was I once more again at sea, boys,
The same ol' ruddy business o'er again.
Oh, stamp the caps'n round an' make some noise, boys,
An' sing again this dear ol' sweet refrain.

Recorded by Warner and Davis
BR
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