Recorded by Tom Sullivan, "Salt Atlantic Shanties" 1980
'Twas a cold and dreary morning in December (December)
And all of me money, was all spent, (was all spent)
And where it went to, Lord, I can't remember (remember)
So down to the shipping office then I went. (then I went(
Paddy lay back, (Paddy lay back!)
Take in the slack, (Take in the slack)
Take a turn around the capstan,heave a pawl! (Heave a pawl)
About ship's stations, boys, be handy (Be handy!)
Raise tacks and sheets and mainsail haul
I woke up in the morning sick and sore, boys
There were belaying pins a-
And the mate came up and grabbed me by the collar
Saying "If you don't sing a song, I'll break your neck".
Now when we got to hoisting up the tops'l
Not a man among the bunch could sing a lick
I got up and gave a verse of Reuben Ranzo
And the answer that I got would make you sick.
7. There was Spaniards and Dutchmen and Roosh-
And Johnny Crapoos just across from France.
And most of them couldn't speak a word of English,
Till the boarding master said "Here's your advance".
13. Now we singled up and got the tugs alongside,
They towed us through the locks and out to sea;
With half the crew a-
And the Bosun with a rope end chasing me.
17. I quickly made me mind up I could jump her,
I'd leave the beggar and get a job ashore;
So I swam across the Bay and went and left her,
And in the English Bar I found a whore.