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I Joined a Ship to Make a Trip

From George Simpson, Dundee, Scotland

Sources: The James Madison Carpenter Collection AFC 1972/001 Cylinder 077 07:28; Disc side 160 02:25; MS p. 00132.
George Simpson only sang the two verses used here as 1 and 5. I supplied the rest with a nod to Dundee which Carpenter associated with Simpson. Rio was chosen as a southern destination, though I suspect few, if any, vessels ever sailed there from Dundee.

  1. Oh I joined a ship to make a trip away to the southern seas
    And how that ship she could skip across the briny seas.
  2. Oh we sailed away from old Dundee upon the flowing tide
    With a fo’c’sle full of greenhands all puking o’er the side.
  3. Oh they said that they was sailors, they said they was the best
    But I think they got their training in the house of Paddy West.
  4. For they couldn’t hand, nor reef, nor steer, it was a sorry case
    And they wouldn’t know a buntline if it hit ‘em in the face.
  5. It was early every morning the mate the turned us to
    It was early every morning he used to put us through.
  6. T’was belayin’ pin persuasion the mate he had to try
    And if you didn’t like it he would surely black your eye.
  7. When we arrived in Rio, I heard the old mate say
    He’d never seen a tougher crew from Hell to Frisco Bay.
Lyrics from the recording: