The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68002   Message #1139998
Posted By: Charley Noble
18-Mar-04 - 10:20 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (John Masefield sea poem)
Subject: Lyr Add: HELL'S PAVEMENT (Masefield sea poem)
I was rereading Stan Hugill's SAILORTOWN the other day and ran across this John Masefield poem in his introduction:

Poem by John Masefield
In Salt-Water Poems & Ballads © 1921, p. 25

Hell's Pavement

"When I'm discharged at Liverpool 'n' draws my bit o' pay,
I won't come to sea no more;
I'll court a pretty little lass 'n' have a weddin' day,
'N' settle somewhere down shore;
I'll never fare to sea again a-temptin' Davy Jones,
A-hearkening to the cruel sharks a-hungerin' for my bones;
I'll run a blushin' dairy-farm or go a-crackin' stones,
Or buy 'n' keep a little liquor-store" –
So he said.

They towed her in to Liverpool, we made the hooker fast,
And the copper-bound official paid the crew,
And Billy drew his money, but the money didn't last,
For he painted the alongshore blue, –
It was rum for Poll, and rum for Nan, and gin for Jolly Jack;
He shipped a week later in the clothes upon his back;
He had to pinch a little straw, he had to beg a sack
To sleep on, when his watch was through, –
So he did.

As I was reading it, it began to run to some old music hall ditty, and with some editing and a chorus shows promise of being sung as another "I'll never go to sea no more" song (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 for chord placement):

Poem by John Masefield
In Salt-Water Poems & Ballads © 1921, p. 25
Arrangement and new words by Charles Ipcar © 2004
Tune: adapted from some Music Hall ditty

Hell's Pavement


C-----------F---C--------F-C-------------------------------G-C
"When I'm dis-charged at Liverpool 'n' draws my bit o' pay,
----G7------------------------------C
You won't see me go to sea no more;
----------F-C---F-C----------------------------G---C
I'll court a pret-ty little lass 'n' have a wed-din' day,
----G7----------------------------------C
'N' settle down some quiet place a-shore;
----G7------------------------C---------G7---C
I'll never go to sea again a-temptin' Davy Jones,
---D------------------------------------G-------------------G7
A-hearkening to the cruel sharks a-hungerin' for my bones;
----C--F-C----F—C--------------------------G---C
I'll run a blush-in' dairy-farm or go a-crack-in' stones,
---G----------------G7----------C
Or buy 'n' keep a little liquor-store."

Chorus:

C-------G------------G7-----------C--------G7-----C
Oh, I'll never go to sea again to plow the ocean deep,
----D---------------------------------------G-----------------G7
No more I'll hear "All hands aloft" to stir me from my sleep;
----C------------F—C---------------------------------G----C
I'll settle down far from the shore, avoid the pier head leap,
----F--------------G7-----------C
I'll never, never, go to sea no more!

They towed her in to Liverpool, we made the hooker fast,
And the copper-bound official paid the crew,
And Billy drew his money, but the money didn't last,
For he went and painted Lime Street blue, –
It was rum for Poll, and rum for Nan, and gin for Jolly Jack;
He shipped a week later in the clothes upon his back;
And he had to pinch a little straw, he had to beg a sack
To sleep on, when his watch was through. (CHO)

This will probably be revised some more.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble