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The Good Ship Calibar


courtesy of

Come all you dry land sailors and listen to me song     
It’s only forty verses and I won’t detain you long

It’s all about the adventures of this old Lisbon tar
Who sailed as man before the mast on the good ship Calibar

The Calibar was a spanking craft it wasn’t rigged fore and aft
Her helm it stuck out far behind and her wheel was a great big shaft

With half a gale to fill her sail she do one knot per hour
She’s the fastest barge on the Lagan canal and she’s only one horsepower

The captain was a strapping lad and he stood just four foot two
His eyes were black, his nose was broke and his hair was a Prussian blue

He wore a leather medal that he’d won in the Crimea War
And the captain’s wife was the passenger’s cook on the good ship Calibar

The captain said to me me lads "Look here me lad" said he
Would you like to be a sailor and sail the seven seas

Would you like to be a sailor and on foreign seas to roll
For we’re on the way to Portadown with half a ton of coal

It was early the next morning the weather it being sublime
Whilst passing under the old Queen Bridge we heard the Albert Chime

Whilst going along by the gasworks straight a very dangerous part
We ran aground on a lump of coal that wasn’t marked down on the chart

Then all became confusion and the stormy winds did blow
The bosun slipped on an orange peel fell into the hold below

Put on more speed the captain cried for we are sorely pressed
The engineer from the bank replied  the horse is doing his best

Then we all fell into the water and we all let out a roar
There was an old farmer standing there And he threw us the end of his gallooses and he pulled us all ashore

It’s no more I’ll be a sailor and sail the raging main
And the next time I go to Portadown, I’ll go by the bloody train

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.