Notes

As Recorded by
The Maritime Crew

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Auckland to the Bluff

By Rudy Sunde 1981

As recorded on AUCKLAND TO THE BLUFF
by The Maritime Crew, 2005

Adapted by Charlie Ipcar 1/16/2008

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Chorus:

I've sailed from Auckland to the Bluff
A thousand miles an' that's enough
A thousand miles on the heaving sea -
Glory hallelujah that's enough for me!

Now I left the city when just a lad,
Times was hard, no work to be had,
So I signed on board the Flora Belle -
Little did I know she was a ship from hell;
She was old, leaking at the seams,
A dirty old tub, broad in the beam,
Her sails was patched, her planks was rotten -
She lay at the wharf as if forgotten.

Chorus

We set sail on the evening tide;
I bade goodbye, an' wiped me eye;
All went well till the Tiri light -
Then, by God, I got a fright;
We was swept by a big beam sea;
Christ, I thought, what can this be?
She rolled an' she lollopped like a big tin drum -
I thought for sure me time had come.

Chorus

"Shorten sail," the skipper cried;
"Shorten sail or you buggers will die!
Get aloft, get aloft, get up the mast -
Get aloft, get aloft, an' get there fast!"
Never in me life had I felt such dread;
Never in me life had I wished I was dead,
But I climbed that mast an' shortened sail -
Then I climbed right down an' kissed the rail.

Chorus

"Man the pumps!" the skipper roared,
"Man the pumps or you'll see the ocean floor!"
So I pumped all night till me hands was raw,
An' I pumped an' I pumped till the sun I saw;
How we survived I'll never know,
The waves did roar an' the wind did blow;
But the sun came up an' the wind went down -
We set full-sail an' swung her 'round.

Chorus

The work was hard an' the pay was mean,
The food was rotten an' none too clean;
Our passage south was so damn rough,
That I jumped the ship when we got to Bluff;
So here in Bluff I've settled down,
Never again will I leave this town;
Never again will I go to sea -
Never again will it see me!

Chorus

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AUCKLAND TO THE BLUFF

By Rudy Sunde 1981
As recorded on AUCKLAND TO THE BLUFF by The Maritime Crew, 2005
Source: http://folksong.org.nz/aucklandtothebluff

I left the city when just a lad,
Times were hard and no work to be had,
So I went to sea on the Flora Belle,
Little did I know 'twas a ship from hell.
The ship was old and leaking at the seams,
A dirty old tub, somewhat broad in the beam,
Its sails were torn, some planks were rot-ten,
It lay at the wharf a-gent-ly rock-in'.

I've sailed from Auc-land to the Bluff
A thousand miles and that's enough -
A thousand miles on the heaving sea
Glory Hallelu' that's enough for me

We set sail on the evening tide,
It was early on a Saturday night
All went well till the Tiri light,
And then, by God, I got a fright;
The ship was hit by a big beam sea,
Christ, I thought, it was all up for me;
She rolled and she lollopped like a big tin drum,
Hell! I swore my time had come. (CHO)

"Shorten sails" the skipper cried,
"Shorten the sails or you buggers will all die;
Get aloft, get aloft, right up the mast,
Get aloft, get aloft, and get up there fast."
Never in my life had I been so scared,
Never in my life had I wished I was dead;
But I climbed up the mast and I shortened sail,
And I climbed down again and was sick o'er the rail. (CHO)

"Man the pumps!" the skipper roared,
"Man the pumps or you'll see the ocean floor!"
So I pumped all night though me hands were raw,
And I pumped and I pumped till the coming of the dawn;
How we survived that night I don't know,
The wind it did roar and the wind it did blow;
But the sun came up and the wind went down,
The wind it did ease, and we headed South. (CHO)

For breakfast we had mouldy bread
For lunch we had the very same fare;
Supper was a stinking stew,
Cookie couldn't eat his own damn brew;
The skipper was an old man, old and mean,
Tough as nails and just as lean;
A voice like a foghorn in the gloom,
When he cursed was the voice of doom. (CHO)

The work was hard and the pay was mean,
The food was rotten and our quarters none too clean;
A journey south was always rough,
So I jumped the ship when we pulled into Bluff;
So here in Bluff I've settled down,
Never again will I leave this town;
Never again will I go to sea,
Never again will it see me! (CHO)

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Notes:

Auckland is about three quarters of the way up the North Island while Bluff is a port at the base of the South Island (of New Zealand).

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