Blow Boys Blow



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

Clive Carey SS416

A Yankee ship came down the river
Blow boys blow
A Yankee ship came down the river
Blow me bully boys, blow

How do you know she’s a Yankee clipper?

The stars and stripes they fly behind her

A Yankee mate and a Yankee skipper

Who do you think was the Yankee skipper?

It is Charlie Brown, a one-eyed nigger

And what do you think there was for dinner?

Seal stew and whale meat blubber

And what do you think they had for supper?

Oh, handspike hash an’ a roll in the scuppers

In oilskins you wait, until you got thinner

So it’s blow today and blow tomorrow

Now blow my boys, for better weather

Oh don’t you hear the bosun say

One more pull and then belay

This is a halyard shanty. The names of the Masters varied according to the ship and shanty man. In Pattison it is ‘Charlie Brown’ and in Hugill it is ‘Pompey Squash’. It is interesting to see Pattison’s reference to ‘seal stew and whale meat blubber’ as this fits firmly into Kangaroo Island’s history as a sealer and whaler stopover port and these references do not exist in Hugill.