Mudcat Café message #3081019 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #135160   Message #3081019
Posted By: Lighter
23-Jan-11 - 06:32 PM
Thread Name: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
THE DREADNOUGHT

I sing of a packet, and a packet of fame;
She's commanded by Samuels, the Dreadnought's her name.
She sails to the west'ard where the stormy winds blow;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are lying in the River Mersey,
Waiting for the Constitution to tow us to sea.
We'll tow 'round the black rock where the Mersey does flow;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are sailing on the ocean so wide,
Where the deep and blue waters dash by her black side;
With our sails set so neatly, and the red cross will show;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are sailing 'cross the Banks of Newfoundland,
Where the lead shows sixty fathoms and bottom of sand;
With icebergs all around and northwesters do blow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are sailing by the Long Island shore,
Where the pilot he does board us as he [sic] often done before.
And it's "back your main topsail, your fore tack let it go";
She's a Liverpool packet, brave boys, let her go.

And now to conclude and to finish my song,
I hope you'll excuse me if I have sung wrong.
For the song was composed while the watch was below;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

Buryeson specifies that the song is for "windlass" and adds this note: "The two last lines of each verse constitute the chorus. The 'Constitution' was a famous side-wheeler tugboat which towed all the Liverpool packets to sea, and is no doubt remembered to this day by many an old immigrant in the United States."