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Paddy Lay Back

from Into The North by The Dreadnoughts

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about

A ‘pawl’ is, allegedly, a hinged metal piece at the base of a capstan. None of us could identify a pawl or a capstan if we tried, but hey, it’s a great song.

lyrics

'Twas a cold an' dreary mornin' in December, (December)
An' all of me money it was spent (it was spent),
Where it went to Lord I can't remember (remember),
So down to the shippin' office went, (went, went),

Cho: Paddy lay back! Take in yer slack!
Take a turn around the capstan, heave a pawl!
All around ship’s stations boys, be handy
For we’re bound for Valaparisa ‘round the horn!

That day there wuz a great demand for sailors (for sailors),
For the Colonies and for 'Frisco and for France (an' for France),
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque the Hotspur (the Hotspur),
An' got paralytic drunk on my advance ('vance, 'vance),

'Twas on the quarterdeck where first I saw 'em,
Such an ugly bunch I'd niver seen before;
For the captain had shipped a crew of Belgians
An' it made me poor ol' heart feel sick an' sore.

I axed the mate a-which a-watch wuz mine-O,
Sez he, 'I'II soon pick out a-which is which';
An' he blowed me down an' kicked me hard a-stern-O,
Callin' me a lousy, dirty son-o'-a-bitch.

But Jimmy the rat he knew a thing or two, sir,
An' soon he'd shipped me outward bound again;
On a Limey to the Chinchas for guano, boys,
An' soon was I a-roarin' this refrain.

So there wuz I once more again at sea, boys,
The same ol' ruddy business over again;
Oh, stamp the caps'n round an' make some noise, boys,
And I'll be here a singin' this ould refrain.

credits

from Into The North, released November 15, 2019
Traditional

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The Dreadnoughts Vancouver, British Columbia

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