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Ratcliffe Highway


courtesy of

As I was a-walking down Wapping

I stepped into Ratcliffe Highway

And there I went into an alehouse

To spend all that night and next day

Two charming young girls sat beside me

They asked if I'd money to sport

Bring a bottle of wine change a guinea

I see you are one of the sort

The bottle was placed on the table

With glasses for every one

When I asked for the change of my guinea

She gave me the verse of a song

The old woman she flew in a passion

And placed her two hands on her hip

Saying - Young man you don't know our fashion

You think you're on board of your ship

If that is your fashion to rob me

It's a fashion I don't much admire

So tip me the change of my guinea

Or a broadside into you I'll fire

The bottle that stood on the table

I quick at her head did let fly

And down on the ground she did tumble

And loudly for mercy did cry

The gold watch that hung on the mantel

I into my pocket did slip

And darn my old shoes didn't I trick her

And soon got aboard of my ship

Our anchor being weighed at our bow boys

Our tops'ls being well sheeted home

We soon bid adieu to fair London

And all the flash girls in the town

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.