Blow the Man Down


Lyrics from Iron Men & Wooden Ships, by Frank Shay

'Twas on a Black-Baller I first served my time,
To me yeo, ho! blow the man down!
And on that Black-Baller I wasted my prime,
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down!

'Tis when a Black-Baller's preparing for sea,
To me yeo, ho! blow the man down!
You'd split your sides laughing at the sights you would see,
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down!

With the tinkers and tailors and soldiers and all,
To me yeo, ho! blow the man down!
That ship for prime seamen on aboard a Black Ball,
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down!

'Tis when a Black-Baller is clear of the land,
To me yeo, ho! blow the man down!
Our boatswain then gives us the word of command,
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down!

"Lay aft," is the cry, "to the break of the poop!"
To me yeo, ho! blow the man down!
"Or I'll help you along with the toe of my boot."
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down!

'Tis larboard and starboard on the deck you will sprawl,
To me yeo, ho! blow the man down!
For "Kicking Jack Williams" commands that Black Ball.
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down!

'Tis when a Black-Baller comes back to her dock,
To me yeo, ho! blow the man down!
The lasses and lads to the pierhead do flock,
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down!


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