Jon admits “This doesn’t really work without a chorus but I didn’t have one to hand I’m afraid. I think I prefer it with a dovetailing chorus (as on Hedonism but also on the Young Traditions version from where I learnt it) but again that doesn’t work when you’re by yourself!”
I’m sure you’ll all know it by now, but it’s still interesting to hear this one shorn of all its punk-funk-folk-shanty-madness. I’m sure it was at Shepherd’s Bush last November that Jon drolly introduced this by saying, “Lots of people have asked us to drop this one… But we don’t do requests.” I remember the shock of hearing for the first time, but it’s now so ingrained as to scarcely register as anything odd. It did send me scurrying back to Bert Lloyd’s version on the Sailor’s Songs & Sea Shanties CD and even that one benefits from a massed “Haul him Away.” The only thing I can suggest is to join in yourselves and give Jon a hand. It’s also interesting to see on Mainly Norfolk that Maddy Prior has had a crack at this one and the extra verses will perhaps add an appeal to the singers amongst you. Mind you, I’m sure you could make up your own with impunity as I’m sure many will have done so before you.