Original lyrics by
J. Smith

"Old Stormy" from
Charles Nordhoff

Printable version

MP3 Sample

Storm Along Stormy

Based on a song by J. Smith of White's Serenaders at the Melodeon, New York City, from White's New Ethiopian Song Book, published by T. B. Peterson & Bros., Philadelphia, US, © 1854, p. 71.

Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 3/29/2010

Tune: after Sail Away, Ladies, Sail Away

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Now I wish I was in Mobile Bay,
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!
Screwin' cotton all de day,
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Hoist that bale an' sing dis song --
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

I wish I was in New Orleans,
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!
Dancin' with them Cajun queens,
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Hoist that bale an' sing dis song --
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

I wish I was in Baltimore,
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!
Dancin' on dat sanded floor,
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Hoist that bale an' sing dis song --
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

Now I thought I heard our Captain say,
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!
"Sun's g'wan down, go get your pay!"
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Oh, you rollers, storm along,
Hoist that bale an' sing dis song --
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

Drop your hook an' give a hollar,
Drop your hook an' give a hollar,
We's ashore for the Yankee dollar --
Storm along, Stormy, storm along!

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Storm Along Stormy

As sung by J. Smith of White's Serenaders at the Melodeon, New York City, from White's New Ethiopian Song Book, published by T.B. Peterson & Bros., Philadelphia, US, © 1854, p. 71.

O I wish I was in Mobile bay,
Storm along, Stormy.
Screwing cotton all de day,
Storm along, Stormy.
O you rollers storm along,
Storm along, Stormy.
Hoist away an' sing dis song,
Storm along, Stormy.

I wish I was in New Orleans,
Storm along, Stormy.
Eating up dem pork an' beans,
Storm along, Stormy.
Roll away in spite ob wedder,
Storm along, Stormy.
Come, lads, push all togedder,
Storm along, Stormy.

I wish I was in Baltimore,
Storm along, Stormy.
Dancing on dat Yankee shore,
Storm along, Stormy.
One bale more, den we'be done,
Storm along, Stormy.
De sun's gwan down, an' we'll go home.
Storm along, Stormy.

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Old Stormy

From Charles Nordhoff, The Merchant Vessel: a sailor boy's voyages to see the world, published by Moore, Wilstach, Keys & Co., Cincinnati, US, © 1856, p. 41.

The chants, as may be supposed, have more of rhyme than reason in them. The tunes are generally plaintive and monotonous, as are most of the capstan tunes of sailors, but resounding over the still waters of the Bay, they had a fine effect. There was one, in which figured that mythical personage "Old Stormy," the rising and falling cadences of which, as they swept over the Bay on the breeze, I was never tired of listening to. It may amuse some of my readers to give here a few stanzas of this and some other of these chants. "Stormy" is supposed to have died, and the first song begins:

Old Stormy, he is dead and gone,
Carry him along, boys, carry him along,
Oh! carry him to his long home,
Carry him to the burying-ground.

Oh! ye who dig Old Stormy's grave,
Carry him along, boys, carry him along,
Dig it deep and bury him safe,
Carry him to the burying-ground.

Lower him down with a golden chain,
Carry him along, boys, carry him along,
Then he'll never rise again,
Carry him to the burying-ground.

Grand Chorus:

Way-oh-way-oh-way—storm along,
Way—you rolling crew, storm along stormy.

And so on ad infinitum, or more properly speaking, till the screw is run out.

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