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Whip Jamboree

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Whip Jamboree

Hugill tells us that this homeward-bound shanty was usually sung at capstan or windlass. The overall theme is similar to Spanish Ladies, naming various landmarks on the final stages of the voyage - sometimes to the Blackwall Docks in London, but more often into Liverpool, ending up at Dan Lowry's.

According to Cecil Sharp Dan Lowrie's was a popular playhouse in Paradise Street (53.4020,-2.9860), near to the Waterloo Dock. But the Liverpool Mercury of 18th January 1864 carried a report of an explosion in the Mersey the previous evening which destroyed the barque Lotty Sleigh, outward bound for West Africa with a cargo that included 11 tons of gunpowder. Much damage was sustained over wide areas of Liverpool and Birkenhead, especially broken glass. Among the exhaustive listing  of premises damaged, there appears the following: At the music hall, "Dan Lowry's Music Saloon", Bevington Bush, a large plate glass window was broken, several of the pieces scattered on the pavement beneath. Bevington Bush (53.4153, -2.9835) is about three quarters of a mile inland from the Waterloo dock, but apparently worth passing the various establishments nearer the dock. It was, of course, also where Seth Davy performed with his dancing dolls.

Roud Number 488
Click to play MIDI file
Whip Jamboree
Whip Jamboree

And now my lads be of good cheer
For the Irish Coast will soon draw near
And we’ll set a course for the old Cape Clear  

Oh Jenny get your oatcakes done
Whip Jamboree Whip Jamboree
Oh you pig-tailed sailor hanging down behind
Whip Jamboree Whip Jamboree
Oh Jenny get your oatcakes done

And now Cape Clear it is in sight (51.4392,-9.5045)
We’ll be off Holyhead by tomorrow night  
And we’ll steer a course for the old Rock Light

Oh Jenny get your oatcakes done


And now my lads we’re off Holyhead
(53.3108,-4.6282)
No more salt beef or weevily bread
One man in the chains for to heave the lead

Oh Jenny get your oatcakes done


And now my lads we’re off Fort Perch Rock
(53.4427,-3.0405)
All hammocks lashed and sea-chests locked
And we’ll haul her into the Waterloo Dock
(53.4131,-3.0011)

Oh Jenny get your oatcakes done


And now my lads we’re all in dock
We’ll be off to Dan Lowry’s on the spot
And there we’ll sup a big pint pot Jenny get your oatcakes done

Oh Jenny get your oatcakes done
Whip Jamboree Whip Jamboree
Oh you pig-tailed sailor hanging down behind
Whip Jamboree Whip Jamboree
Oh Jenny get your oatcakes done


Recorded by
Play MP3
Whip Jamboree, sung by Vaughan Hully
And now Cape Clear it is in sight ...

Cape Clear Island (GPS 51.4392,-9.5045) is the most southerly inhabited place in Ireland, with a population of over 100: before the Famine of the 1840s it boasted over 1,000 inhabitants. Evidence of earlier inhabitants include ruins of a 14th century castle, a 12th century church and megalithic standing stones.

Officially part of the Irish-speaking
Gaeltacht, it lies 8 miles off the West Cork coast and three miles from the Fastnet Rock. It is 3.25 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, with its highest point reaching 520 feet above sea level. The north harbour is served by boat from Baltimore and Schull on the mainland, while the south harbour is mostly used by yachts. It is home to an Irish college, where young people come on residential course to learn or improve their Irish language skills. There is also an Island Heritage museum.

Sharks, whales, dolphins turtles and seals may be seen around the coast, and as its climate is milder than that of the mainland, it attracts many migrating birds, and has become Ireland's foremost destination for bird-watchers, even boasting its own manned bird observatory. Another visitor attraction is a goat farm.

The Cape Clear Storytelling Festival attracts storytellers from all over Ireland, as well as inviting the best storytellers from all over the world, while the Walking Talking Festival provides guided tours of the hidden beauties of the island, combining nature, folkore and history with good companionship and conversation.

From November to February the weather can be very rough with Force 9 gales and mountainous waves preventing the ferries from sailing, and even making walking a hazardous adventure!

... oh Jenny get your oatcakes done
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