Archive for the ‘Bob Watson – Lyrics’ Category


February 1, 2014

Down that road’s the harbour, and beyond it lies the sea,
And if I weren’t so old and bent then its there I’d long to be,
I’ve but to hear those seabirds and feel those breezes blow,
Then my fancy knows no limit to the places that I’d go.
Ch. But then I hear them calling
And it fills my heart with pain
Has anyone seen Grandad
He’s gone wandering off again.

Now once I was a sailor, if my life I had once more,
I’d take my chance with Neptune’s men just like I done before,
Though I can’t walk so well now I’d take me stick, I’d go,
I could make it to the harbour if I takes it nice and slow.

I know me daughter loves me, and I know the reason why
She saved me from some old folks home her patience for to try,
But bloods more thick than water and I should reward her care,
But I’d rather die from drowning than sat in some rocking chair.

See that boat down by the quayside, she was my pride and joy,
For fifty years me own true love and I sailed her man and boy.
See her fretting at her moorings if I could but set her free,
We’d find a brand new resting place together her and me.
Ch. Then no more…………….

© Bob Watson 1988



Nancy O

February 1, 2014

O can’t you hear that wind a-blowin’
Bucko mate with his back teeth showin’
Back teeth showin’, wind a-blowin’,
Haul her hard for Nancy-O!

Can’t you hear those ratlines hummin’,
Shorten sail, the storm’s a-comin’,
Hummin’, strummin’, keep ‘er comin’,
Bend yer backs for Nancy-O
Ch. Nancy-O! Nancy-O! Haul ‘er hard for Nancy-O!
Clear away, let’s roll and go,
One more time for Nancy-O!

Now if I had a bottle of whisky,
Hide it where it ain’t too risky,
Risky, whisky, make me frisky,
Frisky for my Nancy-O!

I wish I had a bottle of brandy,
Somewhere safe to keep it handy,
Handy, brandy, make me randy
Save a glass for Nancy-O!

Now once I had a concertina,
Lost it to a girl called Lena.
Lena took me concertina,
No more tunes for Nancy-O!

Well now I’ve got a one string fiddle,
Gaping gap right down the middle,
Fiddle’s middle’s like a riddle,
Still plays tunes for Nancy-O!

I wish I’d never been a sailor,
Better I’d been a dungeon gaoler,
Dungeon gaoler, a lonshore tailor,
Sleep at nights with Nancy-O!

Oh, can’t you hear the mate a-bawlin’,
Hands on deck, lay aft, get haulin’,
Weather squallin’, glass a-fallin’,
Wish I was with Nancy-O

© Bob Watson 1997


Force Ten

February 1, 2014

Far off to the west of the west of the Denmark Strait, Force Ten
Conceived in anger from the spawn of hate, FT
Out of the womb of terror torn, the Widow-Maker she was born,
Her very breath brought fear and death, FT FT

The icy seas turned boiling by her wrath,
It’s woe betide what’s standing in her path,
Steam trawler Goth from Fleetwood Town, out on the Arctic fishing grounds,
No hiding place a gale to face.

No time to heed the warning when it came,
The Widow-Maker lives up to her name,
Rampaging fast across the sea, shrieking like some wild banshee,
No shelter’s near, the storms severe,

No final message telling of distress,
Ill-fated Goth, her fate we can but guess,
Top heavy from the frozen spray, for wind and waves an easy prey,
And twenty brave men in their graves,

In Mary’s church, a woman kneels to pray,
For the Goth, as hopes all slowly fade away,
“Shine Stella Maris, on the sea, and bring my man home safe to me.”
She wept it seemed the heavens slept.

Somewhere off Iceland, cold on the ocean floor,
Goth’s added to the Widow Maker’s score,
Way up aloft we’ll meet her crew, God willing when our time falls due,
On Heaven’s shore when there’s no more Force Ten!

When fifty years had dulled the sad regret,
Goth’s funnel caught a fishing trawler’s net,
Icelandic skipper he was born the very day the Goth went down
Now we know where to say our prayers, and curse Force Ten.

Beyond Cape Farewell, west of the Denmark Strait,
Another Widow Maker’s at the gate,
Shipping forecast loud and clearsays “Strong winds gusting, Gales severe .
Force Nine maybe but locally Force Ten.”

© Ron Baxter & Bob Watson 2005


Johnny Go Hungry

February 1, 2014

We sailed out of Sydney upon the Passat,
Ch.Oh Johnny go hungry,
The rations too small for to vittle a rat,
Ch.Oh Johnny go thin;
A sailor must heave and a sailor must pull
How the hell can he work if his belly ain’t full?
Ch.And it’s Johnny go hungry, Johnny go thin
Johnny go thieving tonight.
Ch. Johnny go hungry, Johnny go thin,
Johnny go thieving tonight.

Now it was amidships the vittles was stowed,
We hands in the foc’s’le, wrong side of the hold,
We thought of that grub as our bellies grew lean,
And we cursed all those grain sacks a-laying between,

So down in the fore hold we shifted some sacks
All working at night, it was bad for our backs,
It’s right through the cargo our tunnel we drew,
And we helped ourselves to the vittles we’re due,

Then all through the trip as we felt in the need,
We slipped through our tunnel and topped up our feed
They found the grub missing and searched all about,
But where it had gone to they never found out

So here’s to the sailing ship, handsome and tall
And a curse on the owners, whose rations are small
Now time has gone by and it can’t do no wrong
If we tell you the story and sing you the song,

© Bob Watson 1986


Birkenhead Rose

February 1, 2014

On a dark December night, as the fog fell on the Mersey,
There’s a Russian sailor stepped upon the shore;
To the port of Birkenhead he’d just made his maiden voyage,
To the foreign parts where he’d never been before.
In a dark street by the docks, she was there and laid in waiting
For the sailormen with money passing by,
And the Russian’s footsteps led to the Rose of Birkenhead,
When a movement in the shadows caught his eye.
Chorus: And it’s Rose on the quay, with her skirts above her knee,
And a lovesick Russian sailor boy, sailing on the sea;
And it’s Rose on his mind, though his love is frail and blind,
On the dockside streets of Birkenhead, his heart is left behind.

In the lamplight’s dusky glow, she looked like some golden angel,
And his heart it missed a beat to see her there,
And he quickly quite forgot his old * babushka’s* warning,
With the girls in foreign parts to take great care.
Then a wild night on the town, with the liquor freely flowing,
Besotted and beguiled by all her charms;
Though his money all got spent, still it left him well content
With the joys that he’d found in Rose’s arms.

Then commotion on the quay, next morning early dawning,
As the Russian ship sets sail for Murmansk Bay;
And the young man sadly stares as the quaysides fade behind him,
Never heeding what the other sailors say.
“She’s just a dockyard tart, you’d better very soon forget her,
In every port of call there’s more of those . . . “
(But) he can’t see his heart’s delight with another man tonight,
And he dreams that one day he’ll marry Rose.

© Bob Watson 1992