All For Me Grog - Shanty U.K. Archive

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All For Me Grog

Shanties
All For Me Grog

An old song which does not appear in Hugill's 'Shanties From The Seven Seas' but was noted from retired sailors in Britain and America by other collectors. It celebrates sailor John's proclivity to "spend his money fast and free" on booze, baccy and birds.

It was also extremely popular ashore, having been collected in most parts of England, as well as in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, America,  Canada, and Australia. It goes under a multitude of names, sometimes being All For My beer, ale, drink or even grub.  Some call it 'Haul for my grog', while other titles feature the sailor's "nobby"or "nogging" hat, shirt or other pawnable possession.


Roud Number 475
Click to play MIDI file
All For Me Grog
All For Me Grog

And it's all for me grog, me jolly, jolly grog
All for my beer and tobacco
Well, I spent all my tin
On the lassies drinking gin
Far across the Western Ocean I must wander


Where are my boots, my nogging, nogging boots
All gone for beer and tobacco
Well the soles they are worn out
And the heels are kicked about
And the toes are looking out for better weather

Where is my shirt, my nogging, nogging shirt
All gone for beer and tobacco
Well the sleeves they got worn out
And the collar's turned about
And the tail is looking out for better weather

Where is my wife, my nogging, nogging  wife
All gone for beer and tobacco
Well her front it got worn out
And her tail's been kicked about
And I'm sure she's looking out for better weather

Well he's sick in the head and he hasn't been to bed
Since first he came ashore with his plunder
He's seen centipedes and snakes
Till his head is full of aches
And we hope to take a path to way up yonder

And it's all for me grog, me jolly, jolly grog
All for my beer and tobacco
Well, I spent all my tin
On the lassies drinking gin
Far across the Western Ocean I must wander

Recorded by Nine Tenths Below
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All For Me Grog, sung by Nine Tenths Below
Grog and Limeys

On long sea voyages, the casks of drinking water would develop algae and become slimy, so had to be mixed with wine or beer to make them palatable. In the navy, sailors were allowed a gallon of beer a day which took up considerable storage room, but in the 1650s, when Britain seized  Jamaica, a far less bulky alternative became available in the form of rum, which only required half a pint daily per man.

However, some sailors would hoard  their rum ration for several days, then drink it all at once. As a result of the ensuing drunkenness and disciplinary problems, it was decreed that this half-pint should be mixed with a quart of water and issued in two servings, one before noon and the other after work.

For the ships under his command
Admiral Edward Vernon ordered lime or lemon juice to be added to the mixture, to mask the water's foulness.Vernon habitually wore a cloak made of Grogram (a mixture of silk and wool) and was known by his men as 'Old Grog': and his name was soon attached to the daily rum ration.

For a while nobody realised why Vernon's men were healthier than most other units - it was only later discovered that the daily dose of Vitamin C helped to prevent scurvy.
This custom of adding lime juice to the grog gained the British the nickname of "limeys".

The grog ration was carried over into the American Navy after independence but was ended in 1862. The growing temperance movement also affected the Royal Navy's practices: in 1850 the tot was halved; officers ceased to receive it from 1881; it was withdrawn from warrant officers in 1918, and was finally phased out for ratings in 1970, being replaced by an extra can of beer daily.


That's all
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