When A Sailor Comes On Shore
(MacEdward Leach)

When a sailor comes on shore,
He has silver, gold in store,
There's no lad can get rid of it faster.

Oh, the first thing Jack will do,
Take a room both neat and true,
He will call for his liquor in galore.

And a lassie then likewise,
With two dark and a-rolling eyes,
The young sailor is pleased to his fancy.

Oh, then Jack will carry on,
Till his money is all gone,
The young lady she'll come in with a frown.

With a sulky, greasy look,
And her eye cast over Jack,
Saying, "Young sailor, it's time to be gone."

Oh, then Jack is standing by,
A quart bottle to let fly,
That puts the old woman in a maze.

Puts the girls in a fright,
Calls the watchman of the night,
"Take the sailor away to his cave."

Oh, then, Jack well understands,
There's a frigate to be manned,
To the East and West Indies are bound.

With a sweet and a pleasant gale;
He crowds on his lofty sail,
He bids adieu to the girls of the town.

Oh, now she's on a tack,
Like a cutter or a smack,
She do roll from the leeside to the weather.

Oh, keep her full-and-by,
Just as close as she can lie,
I'll be bound your good ship shall show you pleasure.

Oh, ye rambling b'ys of pleasure,
Takes delight in a sailor's life,
Take a warning by me, never roam.

Take a sober, sturdy wife on,
Will love you all her life,
I'll be bound that you'll always find her home.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, Jack Tar [Laws K39] American Balladry From British Broadsides, p.161 (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Collected in 1951 from Thomas Williams [1872-?] of St Vincent's, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Two variants were also collected, one from Mr Garvie Young of Petpeswick, and one from Captain William Arthur Crowell [1881-1960] of Dartmouth, both in Halifax County, Nova Scotia, by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and Doreen H Senior and published as Jack Tar in Traditional Songs From Nova Scotia, pp.168-169 (Ryerson Press, Toronto, Ontario, 1950).


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