Jackie Tar (Traditional) MIDI, video
#1973 YouTube video by threelegsoman
©2012 ~ Used with permission ~

midi1   alt: midi2

When Jack had pulled the oar
and the boat was gone,
And the lassie on the shore
with her head hanging down,
The tears stood in her eyes
and her bosom heaving sighs,
Farewell, my dear, she cries,
with your trousers on.
Farewell, said he, I go to sea,
and you must stay behind,
But do not grieve, for while I live
I ever will be kind;
And when I come to land
you will meet me on the strand,
And welcome Jackie Tar
with his trousers on.

Now peace is proclaimed
and the wars are all o'er,
The fleets they are moored
and the sailors come ashore;
Now you may see her stand
with a glass into her hand,
To welcome Jack to land
with his trousers on.
While up on high, she catched his eye
with all her lovely charms,
Her face he knew and straight he flew
and caught her in his arms;
Her hand he kindly pressed
as he held her 'round the waist,
And he kissed the bonny lassie
with his trousers on.

O, Jack, where have you been
since you went from me,
And what have you seen
upon the raging sea?
I mourned for your sake while
my heart was like to break,
For I thought I'd never see
my Jack with his trousers on.
And while you stayed I sighed
and prayed to Neptune and to Mars,
That they would prove kind
and send you home safe from the wars;
And now to my request
they have been pleased to list,
And sent you to my breast
with your trousers on.

I have sailed the seas for you
to the Torrid Zone,
From the confines of Peru
to Van Diemen's Land,
From the Bay of Baltimore
to the coast of Labrador,
But now I'm safe on shore
with my trousers on.
I have beat the storms in many forms
upon the raging main,
I have fought the foes with deadly blows
and many a hero slain;
I have heard the cannons roar,
I have rolled in blood and gore,
But now I'm safe on shore
with my trousers on.

I have been aloft
when the winds have blown,
And I have been aloft
when the bombs were thrown;
But like a sailor bold
I have now come from the hold,
With my pockets full of gold
and my trousers on.
And now no more from shore to shore
I'll plough the raging seas,
But free from strife as man and wife
we'll live in peace and ease.
To the church this couple hied
and the priest the knot has tied,
And the sailor kissed his bride
with his trousers on.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a broadside printed between 1819 and 1844 by J Pitts, Printer, Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, Seven Dials, London, published in The Oxford Book Of Sea Songs, Roy Palmer, editor. Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, Jackie Tar, published by an unknown printer without a date, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth c.12(162). And also a variant of a 19th-century Scottish broadside ballad, Jackie Tar published in 1855 by the Poet's Box, Glasgow, Scotland, and archived in the Word On The Street digital library of the National Library of Scotland, Shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(130a) ....####
This variant is from The Oxford Book of Sea Songs (1986), Roy Palmer, editor.

The video above features a 12-string guitar performance made especially for GEST by Tony Archibald from Port St Mary on the Isle Of Man.

Early variants of this song appear in William Hugh (W H) Logan's A Pedlar's Pack Of Ballads And Songs, With Illustrative Notes, pp.52-55, 1869, William Paterson, Edinburgh, Scotland, with the following comment: "This song may in all probability date sometime between 1780 and 1790, contemporaneously with the very popular Naval Lyrics of Charles Dibdin. The air to which it has been sung is the well-known dance tune known as the Sailor's Hornpipe which, it is believed, was danced long before the tune was rendered vocal. Hornpipes are of very ancient date. They appear to have been the peasants' dance, not only in many of the provincial towns of England, but in Holland, and were usually danced in wooden shoes. The instrument which discoursed the music was a rude pipe, as the name sufficiently indicates. In the time of Queen Elizabeth they appear to have been danced with partners, and not as a single dance."

See more Logan ballad variants from NFLD.


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