by William Allingham (1824 - 1889)

Head the ship for England!
Language: English 
Head the ship for England!
Shake out every sail!
Blithe leap the billows,
Merry sings the gale.
Captain, work the reckoning;
How many knots a day? —
Round the world and home again,
That's the sailor's way!

We've traded with the Yankees,
Brazilians and Chinese;
We've laughed with dusky beauties
In shade of tall palm-trees;
Across the line and Gulf-Stream —
Round by Table Bay —
Everywhere and home again,
That's the sailor's way!

Nightly stands the North Star
Higher on our bow;
Straight we run for England;
Our thoughts are in it now.
Jolly times with friends ashore,
When we've drawn our pay! —
All about and home again,
That's the sailor's way!

Tom will to his parents,
Jack will to his dear,
Joe to wife and children,
Bob to pipes and beer;
Dicky to the dancing-room,
To hear the fiddles play; —
Round the world and home again,
That's the sailor's way!

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-08-10
Line count: 32
Word count: 154