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The Bark Gay Head


courtesy of

sung to the melody of :"Root Hog or Die"

Come all you young Americans And listen to my ditty
It's all about a whaling bark That left New Bedford City
The bark Gay Head it is her name  She's known both far and near
Her rules and regulations They are most awful queer.


Cheer boys cheer For the Gay Head and crew
For growling and soldiering When there are things to do;
We never will, we never will, We never can he high
We want three thousand barrels of oil, Root hog or die.

2- The place this noble bark was built Was Mattapoisett town
The workmen worked for a dollar a day The boss was Jonathan Brown
She was launched upon July the tenth At eight o'clock P.M.
And numerous crowds assembled round To see them dump her down


3- The Captain's name was Jenny From Mattapoisett town
He walks upon the quarter-deck And there you'll see him frown
He is the meanest captain That ever you did see
He's crossed the Atlantic several times From New Bedford to Afrikee


4 -We'll cheer my noble hearties For the starboard boat and crew
Mr. Hazzard's their boat leader He's a gentleman good and true
There's Hussy John and Taylor Dick And a boatsteerer named Couch
And when they lower in their boat They know what they're about


5- And we will cheer my hearties For the starboard boat and crew
For the blowing of their pulling Which is something they can do
When they lower in their boat They do the best they can
Ryder he's the biggest blower And he's the smallest man


6- We have the noble waist boat Whose crew are very good
Their boatheader is a Dartmouth man His name is Mister Wood.
And when they lower in their boat They don't make any noise
But when you talk of pulling They are the very boys


7- We have another boat now It's called the bow boat.
She's one of the jolliest crafts That ever yet did float
Hiller pulls the bow oar And Blankenship the stroke
Dexter pulls harpooner And Jenny heads the boat - CHORUS

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.