1. Paddy Lay Back

From the recording The Unexpected Voyage (MP3)

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Paddy Lay Back

It was a cold and wintry morning last December
And all of me money, it was spent,
Oh where it went to, I can't remember
So down to the shipping office I went!

Paddy lay back, take up the slack,
Take a turn around the capstain, heave a pawl
About ships station boys be handy,
We're bound for Valparaiso round the horn.

Now on that day there was a great demand for seamen,
A shipin for the colonies and to France
So I signed aboard a limey barque the Hotspur
And got paralytically drunk on my advance.


There was Spaniards and Russians and Dutchman,
And Johnny Crap just across from France,
Not a man amongst ‘em spoke a word of English
But they answered to the name of months advance


Well some of the fellas they’d been drinkin,
And I meself was heavily on the booze!
So I sat upon me old sea-chest a thinkin’
That I’d go down to me bunk and take a snooze


I woke up in the morning sick and sore-o
I knew that I was outward bound again,
Then I heard the mate a bawlin at the door-o
Lay aft man and answer to your name


He called us up on deck to reef the topsails,
Belay’n pins were flying around the deck,
And the cook was stealin brandy from the captain,
I know he’ll never make it on this wreck.


Now I was thinking I should skip and join another,
It seems that I had joined a lousy botch
But the fact is that I might a join a worser
And I’ll probably get through this voyage without a hitch.



We’re bound for Valparaiso round the horn.
We’re bound for San Francisco round the horn.