Jon again points to the Forest School camps and particularly to Daniel Jacks for his source of this with the revelation, “I think this is the only song I have genuinely learnt ‘orally’ – Daniel and I were re-turfing a fire pit on a Welsh camp (I must have been 16 or so) and he taught me it verse by verse. Haven’t seen Daniel for a very long time but he’s a fantastically rich and laid back singer. Simon Emmerson (Afro Celts) made a few recordings of him for FSC – not sure if they’re available anywhere still.” This one is definitely a shanty and seems to have had any number of verses in varying order. I’m indebted to Reinhard at Mainly Norfolk for his research on this and the sleeve notes quoted suggest that verses could well have been improvised at the end of a voyage to suit the circumstances and air the particular grievances of the crew. I also like the suggestion that it was saved up as the last song, as singing it before the ship was all but home was tantamount to mutiny. It suggests many a salty version with no punches pulled and this link is also worthy, suggesting many unprintable verses. I couldn’t find anything more illuminating on Mudcat, so please add to this if you can.
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