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The Flying-Fish Sailor

By Cicely Fox Smith in Sea Songs & Ballads, 1924
Adapted by Charles Ipcar, 2001
Tune adapted from Cold Frosty Morning by Charles Ipcar, 2001

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The Western Ocean roars and rolls
With all its deeps and all its shoals,
And many a thundering win-try gale,
And many a storm of sleet and hail;
But let who likes have rain and snow,
And driv-ing fog and drift-ing floe,
For South away and Eastward Ho!
Is the road for the flying-fish sailor.

flying_fish.jpg - 33845 Bytes In Blackwall Dock our ship is moored,
Her hatches on, her stores aboard,
In Blackwall Dock she lies today,
And she'll sail out with the morning's grey
For Sunda Strait and Singapore,
Palembang and Kuala Lumpur,
And many a swarming Eastern shore
That's known to the flying-fish sailor.

The girls they'll cry and the lads they'll shout
As the sidewheel tug warps her out;
We'll drop the pilot off the Nore
With fond farewells to those ashore
To mothers, wives and sweethearts too
Love to Sally and love to Sue
And that's the last for a year or two
You'll hear from the flying-fish sailor.

We'll drop the tow and bear away,
Down the Channel, across the Bay;
The Western Isles we'll leave behind,
And cross the Line with the Trade Winds kind;
Then we'll watch them dolphins sport and play,
And haul our yards ten times a day,
While South'ard still we beat our way
The way of the flying-fish sailor.

At Forty South when she swings past,
Her easting down she'll run at last,
Where the great whales swim in the far South Sea,
And the Westerlies blow full and free;
Them good old winds they bluster and blow
The same as they did years ago,
And them good old stars that we all know
Shine down on the flying-fish sailor.

The darned old hooker will log sixteen,
She'll ship it heavy, she'll ship it green,
She'll roll along with her lee-rail under,
While the big seas break aboard like thunder;
The pots and pans they'll carry away,
And the cook'll go down on his knees to pray,
But let them seas roar as they may,
All's one to the flying-fish sailor.

fly_fish_2.jpg - 21996 Bytes
Next, old Sydney's Heads we'll see,
And greet a pal on Circular Quay;
We'll wave at Java Head as we go,
And Fuji's crest of frozen snow;
Then black-eyed girls in far Japan
Wun Lee, Wang Ho and little Yo San
With shining hair and twinkling fan,
Will smile on a flying-fish sailor.

And when at last the day comes round
We'll yank the mudhook from the ground
And to old England we'll return,
Our pockets filled with pay to burn;
With a painted fan and an ivory comb
From foreign lands beyond the foam,
And a golden ring for the girl at home
That waits for the flying-fish sailor

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