A Long Time Ago


COLLECTED FROM GEORGE PATTISON

A LONG TIME AGO

Hauling
George Pattison
Cape de Couedie Lighthouse
Kangaroo Island
South Australia
4 Dec 1924 (and 1941)

Clive Carey SS418

When I was young I went to school
To me weigh, heigh, heigh ho!
When I was young I went to school
A long time ago

‘Twas there I leant the golden rule

‘Twas there I learnt to read and spell

Till ten or twelve all went well

When I was older I went to sea

Oh, the life it was bold and free

‘Twas there I learned to smoke and chew

And I learned to love every Polly and Sue

These are a fine set of verses for this popular drag shanty. The song was initially influenced by the minstrel shows. I also collected the song from Jimmy Cargill of Randwick, NSW, in 1973. Hugill doesn’t cite a text (different verses) however a version appears in Stanton H. King, King’s Book of Chanties, 1918