Song lyrics

The songs that we sing are either traditional folk songs, or songs that are based on that idiom.

One of the features of English folk songs is that there is no definitive version of the lyrics; or, indeed, the tune.

These are the words that we sing.

This is a start, more lyrics soon.

Ratcliffe Highway

As I was a-going up London,
From Wapping down Ratcliffe Highway,
I chanced to pop into an alehouse,
To spend a long night and a day.

A young doxy come a rolling up to me,
And asked if I’d money to sport.
Fetch a bottle of wine, change a guinea,
And she quickly she said: “You’re the sort.”

When the bottle was put on the table,
There was glasses for everyone.
When I asked for the change from my guinea,
She tipped me the verse of a song.

This doxy flew into a passion,
And she placed both her hands on her hips,
Saying: “Sailor, you don’t know our fashion.
Do you think you’re on board of your ship?”

“Well, if it’s your fashion to rob me,
It’s a fashion I’ll never abide.
So fetch me the rest of my guinea,
Or else I’ll give to you a broadside.”

A bottle it stood on the table,
I aimed it straightway at her head,
And down she fell just like thunder,
“The bastard he’s killed me” she said.

A gold watch it stood on the the mantel,
For the change of my guinea I seized,
And flew down the back stairs to freedom,
Saying: “Damn my old eyes I’m well pleased.”

The night being dark in my favour,
Down the alleys and byways I fled
Til I jumped in a lighter for Deptford,
It’s back to my mess-mates I sped.

So come all of you rolling young heroes,
that sail for King George against France
Be wary of just where you tarry
Be wary of with whom you dance

For the wine and the women ensnare you
Till your mind it is quickly deranged
And when you ask for the rest of your guinea
You can go to the devil for change

Bonny Ship the Diamond

The Diamond is a ship, my lads, for the Davis Strait she’s bound,
And the quay it is well garnished with bonny lasses ‘round.
Captain Thompson gives the orders to sail the ocean wide,
Where the sun it never sets, my lads, no darkness dims the skies.

And it’s cheer up my lads, let your hearts never fail,
For the bonny ship, the Diamond, goes a-fishing for the whale.

Along the quays at Peterhead, the lasses stand around,
Their shawls all pulled about them and the salt tears running down.
Now don’t you weep, my bonny lass, though you be left behind,
For the rose will bloom on Greenland’s ice before we change our mind.

Come winter we’ll return again, with a hold that’s full of oil,
and money in our pockets lads to spend in right good style
We’ll cause the cradles for to rock and blankets for to tear
And every lass in Peterhead sing, “Hushabye, my dear.”

Here’s health to the Resolution, likewise the Liza Jane,
Here’s a health to the Battler of Montrose and the bonny ship of fame.
We wear the trousers of the white, the jackets of the blue,
When we return to Peterhead, we’ll have lassies anew

The Lowlands of Holland

The life that I have chosen, and there will be content
And the salt sea shall be frozen before that I repent
Repent it shall I never until the day I die
For the lowlands of Holland have claimed my destiny

I’ll go down to the rolling sea, but there’ll be no easy ride
It’s enough to break your mind and will There’s many times we’ve tried
We cried together but we fought, we risked all to be free
For the lowlands of Holland have claimed my destiny

So you feel the wind in your hair as we leave the old country
With seven score friends, here by your side To keep us company
There’s many more we’ve left behind And some we’ll never see
For the lowlands of Holland Have claimed my destiny

The life that I have chosen and there will be content
And the salt sea shall be frozen before that I repent
Repent it shall I never until the day I die
For the lowlands of Holland have claimed my destiny