William Pint & Felicia Dale

Celebrating the ocean in song


Harbo & Samuelson
© Jerry Bryant

In Brooklyn, New York,
at the turn of the century,
Lived two young Norwegians
so brave and so bold,
Frank Samuelson only halfway
through his twenties,
George Harbo had just become
thirty years old.

Now, Harbo had spent all his life on the water,
He shipped in square riggers when only a lad,
His partner likewise was no stranger to working,
No matter the task he gave all that he had.

That year a rich publisher offered a challenge,
That men in a vessel no matter the size,
Couldn't cross the Atlantic
without steam or canvas,
Ten thousand dollars he named as the prize.

Now dredging up oysters by hand is no picnic,
And these two Norwegians were tough as a whip.
Says Frank, “If we row only four miles an hour,
In fifty-four days we could finish the trip.”

“We'll see you in France
or we'll see you in Heaven,”
Cried Harbo and Samuelson out on the bay,
Two hardy young oystermen after adventure,
And no one believed they could row all the way.

Obtaining a sponsor
they started their training,
They ordered a dory of cedar and oak.
Just eighteen feet long
with a draft of eight inches,
Fox was the name of their cockleshell boat.

On the sixth day of June,
eighteen-ninety and six,
Messrs. Harbo and Samuelson started to row.
They took food and water to last them till August,
And the newspapers said
they were foolish to go.

From the slips of Manhattan
they rowed through the narrows,
Out onto the gulf stream and over the deep,
Each day they would row
eighteen hours together, At night they took turns
getting three hours sleep.

Their stove wouldn't light
so they ate cold provisions,
Their arms and their legs
became swollen and cramped.
The odd passing vessel that took them on board ,
Was their only relief from the cold and the damp.

Then out on the Grand Banks
the weather attacked them,
The wind humped the water
into mountainous waves.They lashed down their oars
and tied on their lifelines
And prayed they were not going
straight to their graves.

Then out of the dark came a monstrous wave,
Capsizing the Fox and her terrified crew,
Their lifelines held fast,
but they lost half their water,
And most of their food it was swept away, too.

They carefully rationed the little remaining,
Praying for help as they rowed o'er the brine,
Then, out in the distance they spied a tall ship,
With the colors of Norway a floating behind.

The Captain could not be convinced
they weren't crazy, But he gave them supplies
and they went on their way.
By the lines on the charts
they were half-way to Europe,
But now they must row sixty miles every day.

The weather held fair
and the two men kept pulling,
All through each long day
and far into each night,
Then early one morning before the sun rose,
Far out on the horizon they spotted a light.

On August the first they made land off St. Mary's,
On the south coast of England
just by Bishop's Rock,
In amazement the townsfolk
gathered down by the water,
Where Harbo and Samuelson barely could walk.

Most men would have stopped there
to bask in the glory,
After having been sunbeaten,
capsized and starved,
But they were both back in their boat
the next morning,
And in less than a week they arrived at Le Havre.

So those of you listening
who yearn for adventure,
Like Harbo and Samuelson so long ago,
Like them, be prepared for the task you are facing,
They were not only brave
but by God they could row!

John Damaray

Around Cape Horn we go,
Johnny come down the backstay
Through wind and rain and snow-o,
Johnny come down the backstay
John Damaray!
Johnny come down the backstay
John Damaray,
Johnny come down the backstay
John Damaray!

Hoist her from down below,
Through wind and rain and snow.
Oh, shake her as she rolls,For John's a bully soul.

When I get my feet ashore,
To sea I'll go no more.

From sea I will steer clear,
I'll stick to drinking beer.

The Female Rambling Sailor

Come all you maids both near and far,
and listen to my ditty,
T'was near Grave's End there lived a maid,
She was both neat and pretty.
Her true love he was pressed away,
And drowned in some foreign spray,
Which caused this fair young maiden to say,
I'll be a rambling sailor.

In jacket blue and trousers white,
Just like a sailor, neat and tight,
The great salt sea was the heart's delight,
Of the female rambling sailor.

From stem to stern she freely goes,
She braves all dangers, fears no foes,
But soon you will hear of the overthrow,
Of the female rambling sailor.

Though never did her courage fail,
T'was stormy seas and wintry gale,
O'er which this fair young maiden did prevail,
This female rambling sailor.

From stem to stern she freely went,
Where oftimes she'd been many
But her hand did slip
and down she fell
She calmly bade this world farewell.

When her lily white breast in sight it came,
It appeared to be a female's frame,
Rebecca Young was the name,
Of the female rambling sailor.

May the willows wave all around her grave,
And round the laurels planted,
Roses sweet grow at the feet,
Of the one who was undaunted.

So, come all you maids, both near and far,
And listen to my story,
Her body is anchored in the ground,
Let's hope her soul is in glory.

On the river Thames she's known right well,
No sailor there could her excel,
Shed one tear in a last farewell
To the female rambling sailor.

Hooker John

Oh Mary she’s a sailor’s lass
To me Hooker John, me Hoo-John!
Oh, we courted all day on the grass,
To me, Hooker John, me Hoo-John!

Way Susanna,
oh, way, hay, high high-ya!
Johnny’s on the foreyard,
Yonder, way up yonder!

Oh, me Susie she’s a sailor’s gal,
She’s nine foot high that gal’s so tall

Oh my Flora she’s a hoosier’s friend
She’s beamy round the ol’ beam end.

Oh Sally Brown is the gal for me
She courts a bit when her man’s at sea

The Saltpetre Shanty

To old Cally-oh we are bound to go
Oh Roll!
To old Cally-oh we are bound to go,
Oh Roll!
We are bound away from Liverpool bay,
To those flash girls of Chile
who'll grab all our pay
Oh roll, rock your bars,
Heave 'er high-oh, rock her, oh roll

Old Pedro the crimp, boys,
we know him of old,
Old Pedro the crimp, boys,
we know him of old,
He's primin’ his vino, he's dopin’ his beer,
To the Chinchas he'll ship us
if we don’t steer clear

Those flash girls of Chile
they are hard to beat,
Those flash girls of Chile
they are hard to beat,They’ll greet us
and love us and treat us to wine,
But we know they are robbing us
most of the time.

And when it comes time to sail away home,
And when it comes time to sail away home,
From some old seaport town
on the west coast of hell,
We'll sing “Adios”
and we'll wish you all well

To old Cally-oh we are bound to go
To old Cally-oh we are bound to go,
We are bound away from Liverpool bay,
To those flash girls of Chile
who’ll grab all our pay

Towrope Girls
C.Fox Smith

Oh a ship in the tropics,
rolling along,
With every stitch drawing,
the trade blowing strong,
The white caps around her
all breaking in spray,
For the girls have got hold
of her tow-rope today!

And it's haul away, girls,
steady and true,
Polly and Dolly and Sally and Sue,
Mothers and sisters and sweethearts and all,
Haul away, all the way, haul away,
haul away girls!

She's logging sixteen
as she speeds from the south,
With the wind in her royals,
with a bone in her mouth,
With a wake like a mill-race
she rolls on her way,
For the girls have got hold
of her tow-rope today!

Of cargoes and charters
we've had our full share,
Of grain and of lumber enough and to spare.
Of nitrates at Taltal and rice for Bombay,
And the girls have got hold
of our tow-rope today!

Don't you hear the good trade wind
a singing aloud,A homeward bound shanty
in sheet and in shroud,Oh, hear how she whistles
in the halliard and the stay,
“The girls have got hold of the tow-rope today!”

And it's oh, for the chops
of the channel at last,
And the cheer that goes up
when the tug hawser's cast,
The mate's “that'll do”
and fourteen months' pay,
For the girls have got hold
of our tow-rope today!

Inside Every Sailor (Deceptions)
© Tom Lewis

For the lyrics to these and other Tom Lewis songs, contact Tom Lewis.

French traditional

A la Rochelle sont arrives,
Roulez, jeunes gens, roulez!
A la Rochelle sont arrives,
Roulez, jeunes gens, roulez!
Trois beaux navires charges de ble,
Roulez, roulez, jeune gens roulez!

J'ai mis l'oiseau dans la cage,
Mais l'oiseau s'est envole.
J'ai mis l'oiseau dans la cage,
Mais l'oiseau s'est envole.

Trois dames allaient marchander,
Marin, marin, combien ton ble?

Embarquez, belle, vous le saurez,
La plus belle eu le pied leve.

Le capitaine s'est ecrie,
Larguez devant, larguez derriere.
Larguez les focs, les voiles d'ete,
La belle s'est mise a pleurer.

Qu'avait-vous donc, la belle a pleurer,
Vous avez eu mon pucellage.
Vous avez eu mon pucellage,
Mais je n'ai pas eu votre argent!

Heave Boys Away

Walk 'er round for we're rollin' homeward,
Heave me boys together!
The bully ol' ship is a lyin' windward,
Heave me boys, away!
We're taut an' trim an' the wind is blowin',
Snug up a loft an' the ship she's goin',
Heave 'er an' we'll break 'er
For the old ship's a rollin' home!

Sing an' heave an' heave an' sing,
Heave an' make the capstan spring,
It's blow ye winds for London Town-o!
Where the gals are dressed so fine-o!

Sails trimmed taut an' the ship she's goin',
Move her round for the winds a-blowin',
So, goodbye, gals, we're bound to leave you,
Goodbye, Sally, and goodbye, Lulu.

The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite

The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite
she lay in Plymouth sound
Blue Peter on the foremast peak
for we were outward bound
we were waiting there for orders
to send us far from home
when the orders came for Rio
and then around Cape Horn

And when we came to Rio
we prepared for heavy gale
we brought up all new rigging
and we bent on all new sails
from ship to ship they cheered us
as we did sail along
and they wished us pleasant weather
as we sailed around Cape Horn

While beating round
Magellan's Strait
It blew exceeding hard
while short’ning sail two gallant tars
they fell from the topmost yard
by angry seas the lines we tossed
from their poor hands were torn
and we had to leave them for the sharks
that roam around Cape Horn

And when we got around the Horn
we had some glorious days
and very soon our killick dropped
in Valparaiso bay
Down to the docks they come in flocks
those girls I do declare
they are ar ahead of those Plymouth girls
with their dark and curly hair

They’ll love a jolly sailor boy
when he spends his money free
they’ll laugh and sing and all make merry
and have a hell of a spree
and when your money it is all gone
they won’t on you impose
they’re not like those girls of Plymouth town
where they steal and pawn your clothes

So good bye Valparaiso
and it’s good bye for awhile
and likewise to those Spanish girls
along the coast of “Chile”
if ever I get to be back home
I'll sit and I’ll sing this song
God bless those lovely Spanish girls
that we met around Cape Horn