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Paul Clayton and the Foc'sle Singers

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Recorded by Paul Clayton and the Foc'sle Singers 1959
'Twas a cold and dreary morning in December
And all of my money, it was spent,
Where it went to, Lord, I can't remember
So down to the shipping office went.

Paddy lay back, (Paddy lay back!)
Take in your slack, (Take in your slack)
Take a turn around your capstan,Heave a pawl! (Heave a pawl)
About your stations, boys, be handy (Be handy!)
Raise tacks, sheets and mainsail haul


2. Now that day there was a great demand for sailors,
For the colonies, and for 'Frisco and for France.
So I shipped aboard a limey barque, the Hotspur,
And got paralytic drunk on my advance.

3. Now I joined her on a cold December's morning,
A-flapping of my flippers to keep me warm,
With the south cone hoisted as a warning,
To stand by the coming of a storm.

14. Now although my poor old head was all a-jumping,
We had to loose her rags the following morn;
Oh, I dreamt the boarding-master I was thumping,
When I found out he'd sent me around the Horn.

15. So I swore that I'd become a beach-comber,
And I'd never go to sea no ruddy more;
For I never wanted for to be a roamer,
I'd shanghai the boarding-master and stay ashore.

19. But it's now once more I'm off again to sea, boys,
It's the same old ruddy business all again.
So, stamp the capstan round and sing a song, boys,
Sing once again this dear refrain.

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