Paddy Lay Back lyrics

by The Wolfe Tones

'Twas a cold and frosty morning in December,
And all of me money it was spent.
Oh where it went to, oh Lord I can't remember,
So down to the shippin' office went.

Sing Paddy lay back (sing Paddy lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take your turn, put on your caps and leap aboard!
A bound ship for England boys be handy,
For we're bound for Valparaiso 'round the Horn.

Oh last night there was a great demand for sailors,
For the Colonies, for 'Frisco and for France,
So I shipped aboard a limey barque 'the Hotspur',
And was paralytic drunk before I went.

Sing Paddy lay back (sing Paddy lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take your turn, put on your caps and leap aboard!
A bound ship for England boys be handy,
For we're bound for Valparaiso 'round the Horn.

There were Frenchmen, there were Germans, there were Russians,
And there was Jolly Jacques came just across from France,
And not one of them could speak a word of English,
But they'd answer to the name of Bill or Dan.

Sing Paddy lay back (sing Paddy lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take your turn, put on your caps and leap aboard!
A bound ship for England boys be handy,
For we're bound for Valparaiso 'round the Horn.

I woke up in the morning sick and sore
I wished I'd never sailed away again
Then a voice it came thundering through the floor
Get up and pay attention to your name

Sing Paddy lay back (sing Paddy lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take your turn, put on your caps and leap aboard!
A bound ship for England boys be handy,
For we're bound for Valparaiso 'round the Horn.


I wish that I was in the Jolly Sailor
With Molly or with Kitty on me knee
Now I see most any men are sailors
And with me flipper I wipe away me tears

Sing Paddy lay back (sing Paddy lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take your turn, put on your caps and leap aboard!
A bound ship for England boys be handy,
For we're bound for Valparaiso 'round the Horn
... x2

Song Details

Sea Shanty
'Twas a cold and frosty morning in December...

Lyrics: Traditional

Earliest Date: 1898

Other Titles: Paddy Get Back, Mainsail Haul, The Liverpool Song, Valparaiso Round the Horn

Collection: Stan Hugill - merchant seaman, shanty-man, and historian was a respected collector of sea shanty's and included this title in his book, Shanties from the Seven Seas (1961; abridged edition 1984).

This collection includes 19 verses as well as a chorus between each verse and one at the end (38 in total). Due to the size of the song many versions are shortened to include between 5 to 8 verses - the version by the Wolfe Tones includes five.

Brief: The song is about a poor boy who goes to sea to earn money, then suffers at the hands of foreign sailors, poor conditions, and a long voyage.

References:
Valparaiso - a seaport in central Chile on the Pacific Ocean west-northwest of Santiago.
the Horn - Cape Horn - a rocky headland on an island at the extreme Southern tip of South America, belonging to Chile. It is notorious for gales and heavy seas.
Frisco - San Francisco
Limey - British, English
barque - a sailing ship of three or more masts having the foremasts rigged square and the aftermast rigged fore-and-aft; any boat, especially a small sailing vessel

Category: Sea Shanty

Covers: Blackthorn, Jeff Warner, Dublin City Ramblers, Sons Of Erin, The Sign Posters, Neil Seidel, The Squid Jiggers, Pirates For Sail ...

Please Note: Although most recordings are titled Paddy Lay Back, The Wolfe Tones version is titled Paddy Lie Back

Paddy Lie Back by The Wolfe Tones is featured on the album Let The People Sing... (first LP release - 1972)

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