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Banks of Newfoundland
Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd Lyrics


We have lyrics for 'Banks of Newfoundland' by these artists:

Great Big Sea Me bully boys of Liverpool And I'll have you all beware When…
Siobhan Miller You Western Ocean labourers I'll have you all beware When yo…
The Irish Rovers We'll rub her round and we'll scrub her round With holy…
The Longest Johns Me bully boys of Liverpool I'll have you to beware, When…

We have lyrics for these tracks by Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd:

Blow Boys Blow I've played the game with the fatman in the city I've…

The lyrics can frequently be found in the comments below, by filtering for lyric videos or browsing the comments in the different videos below.
Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Occam's Broadsword

I found lyrics similar to this version on Mainly Norfolk. After some corrections done by ear, here they are:

Me bully boys of Liverpool, I'd have you to beware,
When ye sail in the packet ship, no dungaree jumpers wear;
But have a big monkey jacket all ready to yer hand,
For there blows some cold nor'westers on the Banks of Newfoundland.

We'll scrape her and we'll scrub her
With holystone and sand,
And we'll think of them cold nor'westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.

There was Jack Lynch from Ballynahinch, Mike Murphy and some more,
I tell ye, well, they suffered like hell on the way to Baltimore;
They pawned their gear in Liverpool and they sailed as they did stand,
And there blows some cold nor'westers on the Banks of Newfoundland.

We'll scrape her and we'll scrub her
With holystone and sand,
And we'll think of them cold nor'westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.

The mate he stood on the fo'c'sle head, and loudly he did roar:
“Now rattle her in, me lucky lads! We're bound for America's shore!
Go wash the mud off that dead-man's face and heave to beat the band,
For there blows some cold nor'westers on the Banks of Newfoundland!”

We'll scrape her and we'll scrub her
With holystone and sand,
And we'll think of them cold nor'westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.

So now it's reef and reif*, me boys, with the canvas frozen hard,
And it's mount and pass every mother's son on a ninety-foot tops'l yard.
Never mind about boots and oilskins, but haul or you'll be damned
For there blows some cold nor'westers on the Banks of Newfoundland.

We'll scrape her and we'll scrub her
With holystone and sand,
And we'll think of them cold nor'westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.

And now we're off the Hook, me boys, and the lands all white with snow,
But soon we'll see the pay table and have all night below;
And on the docks, come down in flocks, them pretty girls will stand,
Saying, “It's snugger with me than it is at sea on the Banks of Newfoundland...”

So we'll scrape her and we'll scrub her
With holystone and sand,
For while we're here we can't be there
On the Banks of Newfoundland!

*reif means robbery, plunder and quite possibly piracy in this context



Peter Pan

Thanks! :-) Pretty good! It's almost as I remember it, apart from a few (very minor) differences:

Me bully boys of Liverpool, I'd have you to beware,
Me bully boys of Liverpool, I'll have you all beware,
When ye sail in the packet ship, no dungaree jumpers wear;
When ye sail on them packet ships, no dungaree jumpers wear;
“Now rattle her in, me lucky lads! We're bound for America's shore!"
“Come, rattle her in, me lucky lads! We're bound for America's shore!"
Go wash the mud off that dead-man's face and heave to beat the band,
Come, wipe the blood off that dead-man's face and haul or you'll be damned,
But soon we'll see the pay table and have all night below;
But soon we'll see the pay table and we'll spend all night below;
And on the docks, come down in flocks, them pretty girls will stand, Saying, “It's snugger with me than it is at sea on the Banks of Newfoundland...”
And on the docks, come down in flocks, those pretty girls who'll say: “It's snugger with me than on the sea on the Banks of Newfoundland...”
(Actually, the version I know is pretty close to Aphelion's below.)

Anyways, a great shanty. And yes, it is a shanty, a working song; the "forebitters" (mentioned by nozecone in his comment) are actually the bitters (a kind of bollards, in conjunction with the jib boom or bowsprit) in the bow of a ship, where the fore hawser(s) was belayed. The purpose of the song is to make the heavy work of hauling the hawser more efficient and feel less cumbersome for the crew. The end of a rope or hawser made fast to the bitters, was called "the bitter end". Thus: "To hold on to the bitter end". It is a well known expression, but few people today know what it really means.
Cheers! :-)



All comments from YouTube:

Anthony M

How long have we been on this rock?
5 weeks.
2 days.
Help me to recollect.

Alvex Ok

Did you also notice the woman in the picture, between the two guys bent down on that handle? She's apparently sitting down against that post, her long dress hanging to the floor. You may think it's obvious that she's there, but it wasn't to me, I didn't notice her til about halfway through this video

folkmusicfrog

The ship is rollin' my brother

thenewaeon

Aye, that movie's given me a taste for shanties too.

mohea12

I grew up with this song. My dad saw Ewan MacColl do this song live in 1970. I listen to it over and over.

mizzmusicthief

god this is so good

LRH Austria

Fantastic, rousing sea shanty!

Martha Cain

"Tis snugger with me than it is at sea..."

sye lee

Ewan always pictures a scene, in life that anybody can tune into who otherwise wouldnt

Sophie

best version of this shanty by miles!

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