The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #41062   Message #2652807
Posted By: GUEST,Lighter
09-Jun-09 - 09:29 PM
Thread Name: Donkey Riding - What's Hong-ki-kong?
Subject: RE: Donkey Riding - What's Hong-ki-kong?
Snuffy, how's this?


A yarn I've got to spin, as how I've heard my old Dad tell,
Of a gallant little hero, who aboard the Vict'ry fell;
He was brimmin' full o' courage, an' was just the sort of lad
To make the sort o' sailor that our Navy's always had.
As powder-monkey, little Jim was pet of all the crew,
With his flaxen hair so curly, an' his pretty eyes o' blue;
An' the bo's'n always said as how that what got over him
Was the chorus of a sailors' song, as sung by little Jim:

Soon we'll be in London town,
Sing, my lads, yo, ho!
An' see the king in a golden crown;
Sing, my lads, yo, ho!
Heave ho! on we go,
Sing, my lads, yo, ho!
Who's a-fear'd to meet the foe?
Sing, my lads, yo, ho!

In ninety-eight we chased the foe right into "Bouky Bay,"
And we fought away like niggers all the night till break of day.
The foeman's flagship "Orient" was blow'd away sky high,
With the Admiral an' all his crew — and sarve 'em right, says I.
Now little Jim was in the thick of all the fire an'smoke,
An' seemed to think that fightin' hard was nothin' but a joke,
For he handed up the powder from the magazine below,
An' all the while a-singin' like as if his pluck to show:


But little Jim was book'd, for as the fight was just on won,
A musket bullet pick'd him off, before his song was done;
They took him to the cock-pit, where a-smilin' he did lie,
And the sailors, well, there wern't a man but somehow pip'd his eye. Says Jim, "My lads, don't fret for me, but if the shore ye see,
Give a kiss to dear old mother, an' say it came from me."
An' there never was a braver heart that serv'd our gracious King, Than the little powder-monkey who so gaily used to sing:


The "London town"/ "golden crown" lines of the chorus go to a melody *very* much like that of "Donkey Riding."

A 1923 issue of the journal "The Windmill" quotes the original chorus, adding "The ribald sang,'See the king with his trousers down.'"

In "Donkey Riding," the previous line is "Where the gals they do come down." In 1961 Hugill might not have cared to print what they came down to see, even if it seems relatively tame today.

Part of the actual chorus is quoted in Punch for Sept. 8, 1888.