DESCRIPTION: The singer stops at Paddy West's (boarding)-house. Paddy offers him a (bad) meal and induces him to go to sea. Paddy assures the recruit is qualified by sending him three times "around the horn" of a cow and having him furl the royal of the window blind
EARLIEST DATE: 1951
KEYWORDS: sailor humorous shanghaiing
FOUND IN: US(MA) Britain(England)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Doerflinger, pp. 113-114, "Paddy West" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill, pp. 335-336, "Paddy West" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd, pp. 250-251]
cf. "Tramps and Hawkers" (tune) and references there
NOTES [214 words]: Hugill claimed Paddy West was a real person, living probably on Great Howard Street in Liverpool. But he offers no further details. For the not-very-savory history of boarding masters in general, see the notes to "Dixie Brown" [Laws D7].
How much difference Paddy West's attempts to varnish his recruits made is far from clear. Richard Henry Dana Jr., who sailed in this period, wrote in the second paragraph of chapter one of Two Years Before the Mast, "The change from the tight dress coat, silk cap, and kid gloves of an undergraduate at Cambridge, to the loose duck trowsers, checked shirt, and tarpaulin hat of the sailor... was soon made, and I supposed myself to be looking as salt as Neptune himself. But it is impossible to deceive the practiced eye in these matters... I was, no doubt, known for a landsman by every man on board as soon as I hove in sight. A sailor has a peculiar cut to his clothes, and a way of wearing them which a green hand can never get.... Besides the points in my dress which were out of the way, doubtless my complexion and hands were enough to distinguish me from the regular salt, who, with a sunburnt cheek, wide step, and rolling gain, swings his bronzed and toughened hands athwartships, half open, as though just ready to grasp a rope." - RBW
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.