Traditional Sea Shanties & Sea Songs
Paddy Get Back

A Collection of lyrics for traditional Sea Shanties & Songs of the Sea.

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Paddy Get Back

Capstan Shanty
I was broke and out of a job in the city of London,
I went down to Shadwell Docks to get a ship.
Paddy get back, take in the slack!
Heave away the capstan, heave a pawl! heave a pawl!
'Bout ship and stations and be handy,
Rise tacks and sheets and mains'l haul!

2. There was a Yankee ship a-laying in the basin,
And they told me she was going to New York.

3. If I ever lay my hands on that shipping master,
I'll murder him if it's the last thing I do.

4. When the pilot left the ship 'way down the Channel,
O, the captain told us we were going around Cape Horn.

5. The mate and the second mate belonged in Boston,
And the captain hailed from Bangor down in Maine.

6. The three of them were rough-and-tumble fighters,
When not fighting amongst themselves they turned on us.

7. They called us out one night to reef the topsails,
Now belaying pins were flying around the deck.

8. And we came on deck and went to set the topsails,
Not a man in the bunch could sing a song.

9. We are tinkers, we are tailors, and the fireman also cooks,
And they couldn't sing a shanty unless they had the books.

10. Wasn't that a bunch of hoodlums,
For to take a ship around Cape Horn?
'Twas a cold an' dreary mornin' in December, December
An' 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 went, Went, went
Paddy lay back, Paddy lay back
Take in yer slack, take in yer slack
Take a turn around yer capstan, have a pawl, have a pawl
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy, be handy
For we're bound for Valparaiser 'round the Horn!

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

3. I woke up in the morin' sick an' sore, Sore
An' I knew I was outward bound again, Bound again
When I heard a voice a-bawlin' at the door, The door
"Lay aft, men, an' answer to yer names !", Names, names

4. I knew that in my box I had a bottle, A bottle
By the boardin'-master 't was put there, 't was put there
An' I wanted something for te we me throttle, Me throttle
Somethin' for to drive away dull care, Care, care

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