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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
JWB Lyr Req: a dark and a rovin' eye (Fireship) (24) Lyr Add: THE FIRESHIP 24 Jun 04

Richard "Salty Dick" Docker has this on his new CD of uncensored sailor songs. The words are more extensive and bawdy than any version I've heard before -- they fill in the rest of the story. Here they are as I hear them:

The Fireship

As I walked out one evening upon a night's career,
I spied a lofty clipper ship and to her I did steer.
She hoisted up her sig-a-nals which I so quickly knew,
And when she saw me bunting up she immediately hove to.

She had a dark and a roving eye, and her hair hung down in ring-a-lets.
She was a nice girl, a decent girl, but one of the rakish kind.

"Oh sir, won't you excuse me for staying out so late,
And if my parents heard of this, then sad would be my fate.
My father, he's a minister, a good and righteous man,
My mother she's a Methodist; I do the best I can."

I eyed that girl both up and down for I'd heard such talk before,
And when she moored herself to me I knew she was a whore.
But still she was a pretty girl; she shyly hung her head.
"I'll go along with you, my lad," was what to me she said.

I took her to a tav-er-in and treated her with wine.
Little did I think that she was one of the rakish kind.
I handled her, I dandled her, and much to my surprise,
Turns out she was a fireship rigged up in a disguise.

So up the stairs and into bed I took that maiden fair.
I fired off my cannon into her thatch of hair.
I fired off a broadside until my shot was spent,
Then rammed that fireship's waterline until my ram was bent.

Then in the morning she was gone, my money was gone too.
My clothes she'd hocked, my watch she stole, my seabag bid adieu.
But she'd left behind a souvenir, I'd have you all to know.
And in nine days, to my surprise, there was fire down below.

So come all you good whaler boys that sail the wintry seas,
And come all you good sailor boys, a warning take by me:
Beware of lofty clipper ships, they'll be the ruin of you,
For she not only made me walk the plank, she set fire to me mainmast, too.


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