According To The Act


Jim Cargill

 

Avoca Street
Randwick. NSW
Recorded 19th April 1973

 

SITE SOURCE: Jim Cargill – Folklore Unit

 

 

According to the Act

 

Now if you want to join an English ship, you must roam about at large,
If you want to join an English ship, you must have a good discharge
Signed by the Board of Trade and with everything intact,
Or else there’s no advance aboard, for ifs contrary to the Act.

So, shout boys, hurrah, I’ll tell you ifs a fact,
There’s nothing done aboard the ship contrary to the Act.
So lay aft, boys, lay aft, and see you get your whack,
Limejuice and vinegar, according to the Act.

Now when you’ve signed your articles, and you’ve heard them read,
They’ll tell you of the beef and pork, the butter and the bread,
The sugar and the marmalade and, with quantity exact, of
Limejuice and vinegar, according to the Act.

Now when you join the ship, my boys, your heads are always sore,
And you expect a watch on watch, just as you have before,
But the mate he cries, “Lay aft, and do as I say exact,
For watch on watch the first day out’s contrary to the Act.”

Now slack away your weather main-braces and haul upon the lee,
Swell up your jib-halliards and let your sheets go free.
And bring along the watch tackle to board the stout main tack,
For I want to see the main-sail set according to the Act

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