Music Midi CD - Time & Tide
Jack the Sailor

Words: Ian Woods
Music: Ian Woods

Jack was born in a Suffolk town
That stood not far from sea.
As a boy he'd go crow keeping
Thought a ploughman he might be.
But all that changed that fateful day
When a sailor he did see.

This gallant tar rolled down the lane
His uniform bright and gay.
A gold earring and a pocket full of tin
Young Jack stood in amaze.
Then the sailor paused, spat out his quid
And unto Jack did say.

Now, you look to me like a likely lad
To join with Nelson's fleet.
There's gold and silver to be won
And many pretty girls you'll meet.
Well rigged fore and aft and you'll learn new crafts
Snuggled up between their sheets.

Well impressed Jack swelled his chest
And left the Suffolk shore.
In a few days time he found himself
Anchored off the Nore.
With a suit of blue and a tarry queue
And two guineas left to his score.

Then up there stepped his new found mate
Clasped his hand so tight.
Said: "Come on Jack for run ashore,
I'll show you all the sights.
With your bits of gold we can be so bold
And have us a jovial night".

So, they went ashore to a public house
Where the girls showed off their charms.
And it wasn't too long afore one spied Jack
Took him by the arm.
Led him to bed, took his maidenhead
Never meaning him no harm.

Then the very next day on the evening tide
Jack's vessel slipped away
With Jack on board he was very sore,
I'm sorry for to say.
He turned his head to the old bulkhead,
These last words he did say.

Now, shipmates all I'e been brought down
I'd have you all to know.
By a doxy fair with silken hair
And eyes black as the sloe.
I have stay on land, you'll understand
I'd been better off a scaring crows.

An then he died.

"Jack the Sailor" - Many "country" lads were enticed into the Navy by the uniform and the tales of prize-money to be won. Sadly for many of them their only gain was a painful, lingering death. Indeed during the Napoleonic wars it is estimated that more sailors died from disease than were killed by enemy action, and venereal disease was almost an "occupational hazard".

I. W.

Music Midi CD - Time & Tide