Cape Cod Girls


This shanty is a variant of "South Australia." According to Joanna Colcord, "The words are a rough jest at the expense of sailors who might hail from the fishing towns, and any such towns, from Cape Cod to St. John, were substituted in the words given below."

Lyrics from Songs of American Sailormen, by Joanna Colcord

Cape Cod boys donít got no sleds

Heave away, heave away

They slide down hills on codfish heads

For weíre bound for Australia

Heave away me bonny bonny boys

Heave away, heave away

Heave away and donít you make a noise

For weíre bound for Australia

Cape Cod girls donít got no combsÖ

They comb their hair with codfish bonesÖ

Cape Cod moms donít bake no pies

They feed their children codfish eyes

Cape Cod cats donít got no tails

They lost them all in Cape Cod gales

Cape Cod dogs donít got no bite

They lost it barking at the Cape Cod light

Cape Cod doctors got no pills

They give their patients codfish gills

Cape Cod ladies donít give no thrills

Theyíre plain and skinny as the codfish gills


[alternate version]

Cape Cod boys donít got no sleds

Haul away, haul away (yip!)

They slide down hills on codfish heads

And weíre bound away for Australia

So heave her up my bully bully boys, now

Haul away, haul away (yip!)

Well heave her up and donít you make a noise

And weíre bound away for Australia


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