The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42245   Message #3245959
Posted By: Jim Dixon
27-Oct-11 - 11:17 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Cruising round Yarmouth
Subject: Lyr Add: CRUISING ROUND YARMOUTH (from Harry Cox)
This is nearly the same as CRUISING ROUND YARMOUTH (3) in the DT, but I have listened carefully to the recording and made a couple of corrections, which I have boldfaced. There are a couple of lines that don't make sense to me, although I don't know how to improve them; they are marked with "(?)".

As sung by Harry Cox on "Sea Songs & Shanties: Traditional English Sea Songs & Shanties from the Last Days of Sail"

1. While cruising round Yarmouth one day for a spree,
I met a fair damsel, the wind blowing free.
"I'm a fast-going clipper, my kind sir," said she.
"I'm ready for cargo; my hold it is free."

CHORUS: Singing fal-the-ral-laddie, right fal-the-ral-day.
Fal-the-ral-laddie, right fal-the-ral-day.

2. What country she came from I could not tell which.
By her 'pearance I thought she was Dutch.
Her flag wore rich colours; her masthead was low.
She was round at the quarter and bluff at the bow.

3. I gave her the rope and I took her in tow.
From yardarm to yardarm a-towing we go.
We towed on together till we came to the head.
We both towed together through Trafalgary Bay.

4. We towed till we came to the House of Expire(?).
We gave her old horse with plenty of ire(?).
I lift up her hatches, found plenty of room,
And into her cabin I stuck my jib boom.

5. She took me upstairs and her topsail she lowered.
In a neat little parlour she soon had me moored.
She laid in her foresails, her staysails and all,
With* her lily-white hand on my reef-tackle fall.

6. I said, "Pretty fair maid, it's time to give o'er.
Betwixt wind and water you've ran me ashore.
My shot locker's empty and powder's all spent.
I can't fire a shot for it's choked at the vent."

7. Here's luck to the girl with the black curly locks.
Here's luck to the girl who ran Jack on the rocks.
Here's luck to the doctor who eased all his pain.
He's squared his main yards; he's a-cruisin' again.

[* sic. "Let" would make more sense here.]

[Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd sing nearly the same lyrics, but they omit verse 4 altogether. I'm guessing it's because they couldn't make sense of lines 1-2 either. Or maybe line 4 was a bit too graphic.]