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Paddy, Lay Back


This was a capstan shanty. It is also known as "The Liverpool Song",
"Paddy, Get Back", "Mainsail Haul" and "Valparaiso Round the Horn".
The Panama Canal was opened to general traffic in 1914. Therefore,
this shanty (which sings of rounding the horn) dates before that time.
At least to the time of the Liverpool-New York packet ships (mid 1800s).

Music by - Nils Brown, Michiel Schrey, Sean Dagher


Lyrics

'Twas a cold an' dreary mornin' in December, (December)
An' all of me money it was spent (it was spent),
Where it went to Lord I can't remember (remember),
So down to the shippin' office I went, (went, went),

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

That day there wuz a great demand for sailors (for sailors),
For the Colonies and for 'Frisco and for France (an' for France),
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque the Hotspur (the Hotspur),
An' got paralytic drunk on my advance ('vance, 'vance),

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan-heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

Now I joined her on a cold December mornin',
A-frappin' o' me flippers to keep me warm.
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin',
To stand by the comin' 0' a storm.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

Now some of our fellers had bin drinkin',
An' I meself wuz heavy on the booze;
An' I wuz on me ol' sea-chest a-thinkin'
I'd turn into me bunk an' have a snooze.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

I woke up in the mornin' sick an' sore,
An' knew I wuz outward bound again;
When I heard a voice a-bawlin' at the door,
'Lay aft, men, an' answer to yer names!'

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

'Twas on the quarterdeck where first I saw 'em,
Such an ugly bunch I'd niver seen afore;
For there wuz a bum an' stiff from every quarter,
An' it made me poor ol' heart feel sick an' sore.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

There wuz Spaniards an' Dutchmen an' Rooshians,
An' Johnny Crapoos jist acrosst from France;
An' most o' 'em couldn't speak a word o' English,
But answered to the name of 'Month's Advance'.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

I wisht I wuz in the 'Jolly Sailor',
Along with Irish Kate a-drinkin' beer;
An' then I thought what jolly chaps were sailors,
An' with me flipper I wiped away a tear.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin'-master 'twas put there;
An' I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin' for to drive away dull care.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o' the box,
An' what wuz me great surprise an' wonder,
Found only a bottle o' medicine for the pox.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

I felt that I should skip an' join another,
'Twas plain that I had joined a lousy bitch;
But the chances wuz that I might join a worser,
An' we might git through the voyage without a hitch.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

I axed the mate a-which a-watch wuz mine-O,
Sez he, 'I'II soon pick out a-which is which';
An' he blowed me down an' kicked me hard a-stern-O,
Callin' me a lousy, dirty son-o'-a-bitch.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

Now we singled up an' got the tugs alongside,
They towed us through the locks an' out to sea;
With half the crew a-pukin' o'er the ship's side,
An' the bloody fun that started sickened me.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

Although me poor ol' head wuz all a-jumpin',
We had to loose her rags the followin' morn;
I dreamt the boardin'-master I wuz thumpin',
When I found out he'd sent me around the Horn.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

I swore I would become a beachie-comber,
An' niver go to sea no ruddy more;
For niver did I want to be a roamer ,
I'd shanghai the boardin'-master an' stay ashore.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

But when we got to bully ol' Vallaparaiser,
In the Bay we dropped our mud hook far from shore;
The ol' Man he refused ter let us raise 'er,
An' he stopped the boardin'-masters comin' aboard.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

I quickly made me mind up that I'd jump 'er,
I'd leave the beggar an' git a job ashore;
I swum across the Bay an' went an' left 'er,
An' in the English Bar I found a whore.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

But Jimmy the Wop he knew a thing or two, sir,
An' soon he'd shipped me outward bound again;
On a Limey to the Chinchas for guanner, boys,
An' soon was I a-roarin' this refrain.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!

So there wuz I once more again at sea, boys,
The same ol' ruddy business over again;
Oh, stamp the caps'n round an' make some noise, boys
, An' sing again this dear ol' sweet refrain.

Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan - heave a pawl - heave a pawl!
'Bout ship, stations, boys, be handy (be handy)!
For we're bound for Valaparaiser 'round the Horn!



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