As I was a’walkin' down London Road,
I came to Paddy West's house,
He gave me a plate of American Hash,
He called it Liverpool scouse,
He said, “There's a ship that’s a’wantin' hands,
Now on her you’ll quickly sign,
Ah, the mate is a tyrant, the bo’sun’s worse,
But she will suit you fine.”
Take off yer dungaree jackets, and have yourselves a rest,
We’ll talk of those cold nor’westers,
That we had at Paddy West.
Ah, when we had our feet me boys, the wind began to blow,
They sent me up in the attic, the main-royal for to stow,
But when I got up in the attic, no main-royal could I find,
So I turned around to the window,
I furled the window blinds.
Now seein' you’re bound for the Southern Seas,
For Cape Horn you are bound;
Paddy he took out a length of rope, he laid it on the ground,
We all stepped over, and back again,
And he says to me, “That's fine,
Now if ever they ask, ‘Was you ever to sea?’
You can say you crossed the line.”
Now Paddy cries out, “All hands on deck,”
Your stations for to man.
His wife she stood in the doorway, with a bucket in her hand;
And Paddy cries out, “Now let 'er rip!”
And she flung the water our way,
Sayin', “Clew up your ports t’g’nsail boys,
She's takin in the spray!”
Paddy says, “Now pay attention, lads,
One lesson you must learn:
Starboard is where the ship she points,
And the right is called the stern,
So look ye aft, to your starboard bow, and you shall find northwest.”
And that's how I learned navigation at the school of Paddy West.
There's just one thing for you to do before you sail away,
Walk around the table, With the bullock's horn displayed,
And if they ask, “Were you ever at sea?”
You can say, “Ten times 'round the Horn.”
You can tell ‘em that you were a sailor,
Since the day that you were born.
Put on yer dungaree jackets, and walk out lookin' yer best,
And tell 'em you're a poor sailor lad, that came from Paddy West.
key of F (4:45) live
Jim Hancock – mandolin, voice
Eddie Jeff Cahill - guitar, voice
As performed on the recording:
Jim Hancock and Friends - Blood On The Boards