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Paddy Lay Back/Jackson's Jig

[Side Door]


A great old sea shanty which more than likely has it's origins in Liverpool. It could have been sung as a work-song on board ship as the sailors did turn the capstan: "Take a turn around the capstan".

It was a cold and frosty morning in December
And all of me money it was spent
Where it went to be God I can't remember
But I down to the shipping office went

Paddy lay back, Take in your slack
Take a turn around the capstan, heave a-Pol
About ship's station boys be handy
For we're off to Valparaiso in the morn

That day there was a great demand for sailors
For the colonies, for Frisco, and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey bark, 'The Hotspur'
And I got paralytic drunk on my advance

There were Dutchmen, Spaniards, and Russians
And jolly boys just across from France
Not a one of them could speak a word of English
But the answered to the name of 'Month's Advance'

Now some of the lads they had been drinkin'
And meself was heavy on the booze
So I sat upon my old sea-chest a -thinkin'
That I'd crawl into me bunk and have a snooze

I woke up in the morning sick and sore
For I knew I was outward bound again
When I heard a voice bawling at the door
Get up ye blackguard and listen to your name

Well I wish I was in the Old Dublin Pub*
Along with Irish navvies drinkin' beer
When I thought what jolly lads were sailors
And with me flipper I wiped away a tear

*Not the original name of the pub in the song. For nostalgia sake I used the name of the great pub I played in Montreal from 1979 - 93.