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American Ballads and Folk Songs
COMING AROUND THE HORN*
(Air: "Dearest May")
Now, miners, if you'll listen, Pll tell you quite a tale, About the voyage around Cape Horn, they call a pleasant sailj We bought a ship, and had her stowed with houses, tools and grub, But cursed the day we ever sailed in the poor old rotten tub.
Oh, I remember well, the lies they used to tell,
Of gold so bright, it hurt the sight, and made the miners yell.
We left old New York City, with the weather very thick, The second day we puked up boots, oh, wusn't we all seasick! I swallowed pork tied to a string, which made a dreadful shout, I felt it strike the bottom, but I could not pull it out.
We all were owners in the ship, and soon began to growl, Because we hadn't ham and eggs, and now and then a fowlj We told the captain what to do, as him we had to pay, The captain swore that he was boss, and we should him obey.
We lived like hogs, penned up to fat, our vessel was so small, We had a "duff" but once a month, and twice a day a squall j A meeting now and then we held, which kicked up quite a stink, The captain damned us fore and aft, and wished the box would sink.
Off Cape Horn, where we lay becalmed, kind Providence seemed
to frown, We had to stand up night and day, none of us dared sit down; For some had half a dozen boils, 'twas awful, sure's you're born, But some would try it on the sly, and got pricked by the Horn.
* JPut*s Original California Songster, p. 37.