Original poem by
Burt Franklin Jenness

Printable version

MP3 Sample

Sea Traders

Poem by Burt Franklin Jenness
from OCEAN HAUNTS, edited by Burt Franklin Jenness,
Empire Publishing Co., New York, US, 1934, P. 45.

Adapted and musically arranged by Charlie Ipcar 12/8/07

Tune: after Home with the Girls in the Morning

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Chorus:
Now we're rollin' down to Rio,
Buenos Aires or the Straits
That's the way we traded from Fuego to the States!
Now we're rollin' down to Rio,
Buenos Aires or the Straits
That's the way we traded from Fuego to the States!

Rollin' down to Rio on this rotten sailin' tramp;
Takin' water for'r'd an' now our bunks are damp;
Buckin' like a bronco since we left the Keys;
Listin' like a kettle as she ships the quart-er seas.

(Chorus)

Loaded to the gunnels, plowin' four knots an hour,
Steadied with her stays'l but swayin' like a flower;
Half a crew o' Cubans, with a pair o' Swedish mates,
That's the way we traded from Fuego to the States.

(Chorus)

Callin' at Jamaica for a scuttle-butt o' rum;
Carousin' at fiestas till we've spent our shippin' sum;
Stricken with the fever from the islands where it grew;
Fightin' for the rations with this lazy, drunken crew.

(Chorus)

Reelin' round the Indies, makin' port or makin' sail;
Beatin' up to windward in a ragin' tropic gale;
Losin' our deck cargo, shiftin' coal or shiftin' crates
That's the way we traded from Fuego to the States.

(Chorus)

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Sea Traders

Poem by Burt Franklin Jenness
From OCEAN HAUNTS, edited by Burt Franklin Jenness,
Empire Publishing Co., New York, US, © 1934, p. 45.

Droppin' down to Rio on a buckin' wooden tramp;
Takin' water for'r'd till her rotten planks were damp;
Pitchin' like a bronco from the time we left the Keys;
Listin' like a kettle when she took the quarter seas;
Loaded to the gunnels, making four knots an hour;
Steadied with her stays'l, but swaying like a flower;
Half a crew o' Cubans, an' a pair o' Swedish mates;
That's the way we traded from Fuego to the States.

Callin' at Jamaica for a scuttle-butt o' rum;
Lazin' at fiestas till we spent our shippin' sum;
Stricken with the fever, from the islands where it grew;
Fightin' for our rations in a lazy, drunken crew;
Reelin' round the Indies, makin' port or makin' sail;
Beatin' up to windward in a Carribean gale;
Dippin' down to Rio, Buenos Aires or the Straits
That's the way we traded from Fuego to the States.

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