The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138169   Message #3167076
Posted By: Charley Noble
08-Jun-11 - 09:05 AM
Thread Name: John Masefield-Songs from Poems (PermaThread)
Subject: RE: John Masefield-Songs from Poems (PermaThread)
Here's another poem that Stan Hugill used to preface his book titled Sailortown, E. P. Dunton & Co., New York, © 1967:

Hell's Pavement
(John Masefield)

"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.

Notes:

From Salt-Water Poems & Ballads, © 1921, p. 25.

Here we have another take on the sailor's pledge never to go to sea once more, only to be shipped out "a week later with the clothes upon me back."

In adapting this one for singing, I used the melody to a British Music Hall song (not sure which one but it's in that style), did some rewording with advice from two friends and added a chorus (copy and past into word/times/12 to line up chords):

Arrangement and new words by Charles Ipcar, Norris Dale & Judy Barrows © 2004
Tune: Charles Ipcar, Music Hall style

HELL'S PAVEMENT
(John Masefield)

C-------------------F---C--------F-C-------------------------------G-C
"Now, when I'm dis-charged at Liverpool 'n' draws me bit o' pay,
----G7---------------------------C
I'll never, never, 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
Hearkening to them cruel sharks a-hungerin' for me 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 rob me of me sleep;
----C------------F—C--------------------------------G----C
I'll settle ninety miles from shore, no more the pier head leap,
----F--------------G7-----------C
I'll never, never, go to sea no more!


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

But, I'll never go to sea again to plow the ocean deep,
No more I'll hear "All hands aloft" to rob me of my sleep
I'll settle ninety miles from shore, no more the pier head leap,
I'll never, never, go to sea no more!


Here's a link to a MP3 sample as recorded on Uncommon Sailor Songs, © 2004: click here for lyrics and MP3 Sample!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble