The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #172122   Message #4166382
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
28-Feb-23 - 10:11 AM
Thread Name: Crafty/clever/cunning maiden songs?
Subject: RE: Crafty/clever/cunning maiden songs?
A sailor led a dangerous life at sea. There was only one place where he faced greater risks, and that was ashore. In these songs, the maidens make liberal use of alcohol.

Barracks Street/Patrick Street, where a sailor is cheated out of his pay.

In 1874, James Greenwood published his account of a visit to Tiger Bay in East London;
"But can you direct me to the neighbourhood the newspapers have spoken of as Tiger Bay?" I mildly insinuated, "The locality where sailors are so shamefully used by ruffianly men and women."
"Oh! if she-tigers make Tiger Bays, you haven't got far to travel," replied the Policeman, yielding slightly; "That's one, and two turn-ins higher up there's another. Brunswick Street is another. Brunswick Gardens is a goodish bit further up - little prayer-meeting place at the corner of it. P'raps that's the Tiger Bay you want. I'd rather you want it than me. They'd have the hair off a man's head if they could get a penny a pound for it."

Wild Tiger Bay by Henry Peacock

Tune; The Limerick Rake. Also used for Champion at Keeping Them Rolling (MacColl), High Sheriff of Hazard (Paxton) and Cold Coast of Iceland (Waterson).

We sail by the day and we sail by the night
We all give a cheer when land comes into sight
If there’s peril at sea, then there’s pleasure ashore
Pretty girls beckon to us from every door

Now Jack’s in a tavern, happy as he can be
A glass in his hand and a girl on his knee
Buy us another, Jack, sing us a song
Alas, cries poor Jack, All my money is gone

Then give me your jacket, I’ll pawn it for you
To buy you a drink, that’s the least I can do
Take off your waistcoat and hand it to me
To pay for a sailor who’s out on a spree

I’ll have all his clothes when the evening is through
And if I could sell it, I’d take his skin too
With claws like a tiger, she strips poor Jack bare
And without a glance backward leaves Jack lying there

In the cold morning, Jack wakes in the street
No shirt on his back and no boots on his feet
He set out so proudly but now he must crawl
Back to his ship wearing nothing at all

Far out at sea he will face the great gales
Out on the yardarm to take in the sails
The wind and the waves they may wash him away
But he’s still safer there than in wild Tiger Bay