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Will Watch


courtesy of www.SailorSongs.comJohn Davy 1765 - 1824

One morn when the wind from the northward blew keenly
While sullenly reared the big waves of the main
A famed smuggler Will Watch kissed his Sue then serenely
Took helm and to sea boldly steered out again.
Will had promised his Sue that his trip if well ended
Should coil up his hopes and he'd anchor on shore
When his pockets were lined, why his life should be mended
The laws he had broken he'd never break more

His sea boat was trim made her port took her lading
Then Will stood for home reached the offing and cried
This night if I've luck furls the sail of my trading
In dock I can lie serve a friend too beside
Will lay-to till night came on, darksome and dreary
To crowd every sail then he piped up each hand
But a signal soon 'spied - 'twas a prospect uncheery-
A signal that warned them to steer from the land.

"The Philistines are out cries Will - we'll take no heed on't
Attacked whose the man who will flinch from his gun
Should my head be blown off I shall ne'er feel the need on't
We'll fight while we can when we can't boys  we'll run
Through the haze of the night a bright flash now appearing,
Oh oh cries Will Watch the Philistines bear down
Bear a hand, my tight lads ere we think about sheering 
One broadside pour in should we swim boys or drown.

But should I be popped off you, my mates left behind me
Regard my last words see 'em kindly obeyed
Let no stone mark the spot and my friends do you mind me
Near the beach is the grave where Will Watch would be laid
Poor Will's yarn was spun out - for a bullet next minute
Laid him low on the deck and he never spoke more
His bold crew fought the brig while a shot remained in it
Then sheered off and Will's hulk to his Susan they bore

In the dead of the night his last wish was complied with
To few known his grave and to few known his end
He was borne to the earth by the crew that he died with
He'd the tears of his Susan the prayers of each friend
Near his grave dash the billows the winds loudly bellow
Yon ash, struck with lightning points out the cold bed
Where Will Watch the bold smuggler that famed lawless fellow
Once feared now forgot sleeps in peace with the dead

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.