Notes

Original poem by
John Masefield

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A Night at Dago Tom's

Poem by John Masefield
from Salt Water Poems & Ballads, by John Masefield,
published by The MacMillan Co., NY, 1916, pp. 38-39.

Adapted for singing by Andy Kenna
as recorded by Liverpool Forebitter on
Salt Water Ballads
, 2002
with minor word changes by Charlie Ipcar, 5/27/2011

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Circular Quay 1871 Now yesterday, I think it was, while cruisin' down the street,
I met with Bill "Hullo," says he, "let's give the gals a treat!"
Red bandanas round our necks, our shrouds new rattled down,
We nabbed a couple of Santy Cruz, and steered for Sailor Town
We steered for Sailor Town, me boys, we steered for Sailor Town,
We nabbed a couple of Santy Cruz, and steered for Sailor Town.

We scooted south with a press of sail till we fetched to a caboose,
The "Sailor's Rest" at Dago Tom's, alongside "Paddy's Goose"
Red curtains at the winders, white sand upon the floor,
And an old blind fiddler liltin' a tune of "Lowlands, No More"
"Lowlands, No More," me boys, "Lowlands, No More,"
And an old blind fiddler liltin' a tune of "Lowlands, No More."

He played the "Shaking of the Sheets" and the couples did advance,
Bowing, stamping, curtsying, in the figures of the dance
The whole room shook and shivered; it struck beholders dumb,
And afterwards we sang sweet songs and drank Jamaikey rum
We drank Jamaikey rum, me boys, we drank Jamaikey rum.
And afterwards we sang sweet songs and drank Jamaikey rum.

And many the merry yarn we spun of many the merry spree,
Aboard our ships with all royals set, a-sailing on the sea,
Yarns of the flying Spindrift, her as had the clipper-bow,
"There ain't no ships," says Bill to me, "like that there hooker now"
"Like that there hooker now," me boys, "like that there hooker now,"
"There ain't no ships," says Bill to me, "like that there hooker now."

When the old blind fiddler struck up the tune "Pipe the Watch Below,"
The skew-eyed landlord dowsed the glim and bade us "stamp 'n' go"
So we linked arms, did Bill and I, and staggered down the street,
Until we found two doxies, aye, to lay beneath the sheets
To lay beneath the sheets, me boys, to lay beneath the sheets,
Until we found two doxies, aye, to lay beneath the sheets
Until we found two doxies, aye, to lay beneath the sheets.

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A Night at Dago Tom's

Poem by John Masefield
from Salt Water Poems & Ballads, by John Masefield,
published by The MacMillan Co., NY, 1916, pp. 38-39.

Oh yesterday, I t'ink it was, while cruisin' down the street,
I met with Bill. "Hullo," he says, "let's give the girls a treat."
We'd red bandanas round our necks 'n' our shrouds new rattled down,
So we filled a couple of Santy Cruz and cleared for Sailor Town.

We scooted south with a press of sail till we fetched to a caboose,
The "Sailor's Rest," by Dago Tom, alongside "Paddy's Goose."
Red curtains to the windies, ay, 'n' white sand to the floor,
And an old blind fiddler liltin' the tune of "Lowlands No More."

He played the "Shaking of the Sheets" 'n' the couples did advance,
Bowing, stamping, curtsying, in the shuffling of the dance;
The old floor rocked and quivered, so it struck beholders dumb,
'N' afterwards there was sweet songs 'n' good Jamaikey rum.

'N' there was many a merry yarn of many a merry spree
Aboard the ships with royals set a-sailing on the sea,
Yarns of the hooker Spindrift, her as had the clipper-bow,
"There ain't no ships," says Bill to me, "like that there hooker now."

When the old blind fiddler played the tune of "Pipe the Watch Below,"
The skew-eyed landlord dowsed the glim and bade us "stamp 'n' go,"
'N' we linked it home, did Bill 'n' I, adown the scattered streets,
Until we fetched to Land o' Nod atween the linen sheets.

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Notes:

From SALT WATER POEMS AND BALLADS, edited by John Masefield, published by The MacMillan Co., NY, 1916, pp. 38-39.

Another fine tribute to having a spree in Sailortown.

"Santy Cruz" is of course a reference to bottles of rum.

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