Bully In The Alley - Shanty U.K. Archive

Search
Go to content

Main menu

Bully In The Alley

Shanties
Bully In The Alley

According to Hugill this halyard shanty is of Negro origin, and although popular in the West Indies may have originated as a cotton screwing song in the Gulf Ports of the USA.

The verses given below are as sung by Owd Chyvers, and are more or less what Hugill printed. Most subsequent recordings have basically the same selction of verses.

Roud 8287
Click to play MIDI file
Bully In The Alley
Bully In The Alley


Help me Bob, I'm bully in the alley,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

Help me Bob, I'm bully in the alley,

Bully down in Shinbone al.


Sally is a girl that I loved dearly,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

Sally is the girl that I spliced nearly,

Bully down in Shinbone al.


For seven long years I courted little Sally,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

All She did was dilly and dally,

Bully down in Shinbone al.


I left my Sal, I went a-sailing

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

Signed on a big ship, I went a-whaling

Bully down in Shinbone al.


If ever I get back, I'll marry little Sally,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

Have six kids and live in Shinbone alley,

Bully down in Shinbone al.


I thought I heard the old man saying,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

One more pull and we're belaying,

Bully down in Shinbone al.


Help me Bob, I'm bully in the alley,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

Help me Bob, I'm bully in the alley,

Bully down in Shinbone al.



Click to play MP3
Bully In The Alley, sung by Owd Chyvers
... but there's more

These lesser-known verses may sometimes be heard in addition to the "regulation" verses found on most recordings

Now Sally she's a Badian beauty,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

Sally is a girl that knows her duty.

Bully down in Shinbone Al


Now Sally she's a bright mulatto,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

Pretty girl but I can't get  at her.

Bully down in Shinbone Al


When I get thru some 'hoo and I go and see my Sally,

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

I throw her a line and make fast in her alley.

Bully down in Shinbone Al


Now it's time to leave and I'm gonna slip my cable

Wey hey, Bully in the alley.

I go and see my Sally as often as I'm able.

Bully down in Shinbone Al




 
Back to content | Back to main menu