by John Masefield (1878 - 1967)

Oh, some are fond of red wine and some...
Language: English 
Oh, some are fond of red wine and some are fond of white,
And some are all for dancing by the pale moonlight:
But rum alone’s the tipple, and the heart’s delight
  Of the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh, some are fond of Spanish wine and some are fond of French,
And some’ll swallow tay and stuff fit only for a wench;
But I’m for right Jamaica till I roll beneath the bench,
  Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh, some are for the lily and some are for the rose,
But I am for the sugar cane that in Jamaica grows;
For it’s that that makes the bonny drink to warm my copper nose,
  Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh, some are fond of fiddles and a song well sung,
And some are all for music for to lilt upon the tongue;
But mouths were made for tankards, and for sucking at the bung,
  Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh, some are fond of dancing and some are fond of dice,
And some are all for red lips and pretty lasses’ eyes;
But a right Jamaica puncheon is a finer prize
  To the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh, some that’s good and godly ones they hold that it’s a sin
To troll the jolly bowl around, and let the dollars spin;
But I’m for toleration and for drinking at an inn,
  Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

Oh, some are sad and wretched folk that go in silken suits,
And there’s a mort of wicked rogues that live in good reputes;
So I’m for drinking honestly and dying in my boots,
  Like an old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

P. Warlock sets stanzas 1-4, 6
I. Gurney sets stanzas 1, 3, 7
G. Bachlund sets stanzas 1-4, 6
P. Corder sets stanzas 2-3, 6, 5, 7

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First published in Speaker, May 1903

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Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Mike Pearson

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 28
Word count: 294