Recorded by Stan Hugill, 1980
'Twas a cold and dreary morning in December (December)
And all of me money, it was spent, (it was spent)
Where it went to, Christ, I can't remember (remember)
So down to the shipping office went. (went, went!)
Paddy lay back, (Paddy lay back!)
Take in your slack, (Take in your slack)
Take a turn around the capstan,Heave a pawl! (Heave a pawl)
About ship's stations, boys, be handy (Be handy!)
We're bound for Valiparaiso 'round the Horn!
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,
An' got paralytic drunk on my advance.
4. Now some of our fellers had been drinking,
And I myself was heavy on the booze.
And I sat upon my old sea-
I'd tumble into me bunk and have a snooze.
5. Oh I woke up in the morning sick and sore,
And I knew I was outward bound again;
And I heard a voice a-
"Lay aft, men, and answer to your name."
6. 'Twas on the quarterdeck where I first saw them.
Such an ugly bunch I never seen before,
For there was a bum and stiff from every quarter,
And it made me poor old heart feel sick and sore.
7. There was Spaniards and Dutchmen and Rooshians,
And Johnny Crapoos just across from France.
And they couldn't speak a goddam word of English,
But they answered to the name of "Month's Advance".
9. Now I knew that in my box I had a bottle,
By the boarding-
And I wanted something for to wet my throttle,
Something for to drive away dull care.
10.So down upon my knees I went like thunder,
Put my hand into the bottom of the box,
And what was my great surprise and wonder,
Found only a bottle of medicine for the pox.