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Stately Southerner


courtesy of - About John Paul Jones 1778 

'Tis of a stately Southerner
Who flew the Stripes and Stars
The whistling wind from west nor'west
Blew through our pitch-pine spars
We had our larboard tacks on board
As we hung upon a gale
Gable Island light shone bright
From the Old Head of Kinsale

No thought was there of shortening sail
By him who trod our poop
Although the press of our pondering jibs
The boom bends like a hoop
Our groaning chess-trees told the strain
That stood on our stout main tack
But he only laughed as he glanced abaft
At the white and glistening track

It was a bright and a cloudless night
The wind blew fresh and strong
As gaily o'er the Channel wave
Our good ship swept along
With the foaming sea before her bow
The briny wave she spread
Till bending low in a foam like snow
She buries her lee cathead

What's this upon our weather bow
What ship is this I see
It's time our good ship hauled her wind
We're abreast the old Saltee
'Twas by the nightly robe she wore
And her tapering length of spar
We knew our morning visitor
Was a British man-o'-war

What did our daring foeman do
A shot ahead he passed
Clewed up his flowing courses
Laid his topsails to the mast
Those British tars gave three huzzas
From the deck of their black corvette
But we answered back with a scornful laugh
As our starry flag we set

Out booms, out booms cried the Southerner
Out booms and give her sheet
Here comes the fastest man-o'-war
Of all the Channel fleet
She's bearing down upon us boys
With the white foam at her bow

Out booms out booms cried the Southerner
Don't spare your canvas now

The mid tide meets the Channel wave
That flows from shore to shore
The mist hung heavy over the land
From Featherstone to Dunmore
The day star glinted in the east
Four bells had rolled the hour
And the sterling light on Tuskar Rock
Was quenched in the Waterford Tower

Out spoke our noble captain then
Not a cloud was on his brow
Stand by my gallant heroes all
The enemy's on us now
We carry aloft the Stars and Stripes
Against old England's boast
Paul Jones the terror of the sea
Will fly them on her coast

The fog was rising over the land
The wind was from the shore
And the poor Dungarven fishernen
Sought shelter in Kinsore
With light sails set and booms rigged out
And stun's'ls hoisted away
Paul Jones did clear the Channel mouth
Before the dawn of day

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.