by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 - 1863)

There were three sailors of Bristol city
Language: English 
There were three sailors of Bristol city
Who took a boat and went to sea.
But first with beef and captain's biscuits
And pickled pork they loaded she.

There was gorging Jack and guzzling Jimmy,
And the youngest he was little Billee.
Now when they got as far as the Equator
They'd nothing left but one split pea.

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
"I am extremely hungaree."
To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy,
"We've nothing left, us must eat we."

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
"With one another we shouldn't agree!
There's little Bill, he's young and tender,
We're old and tough, so let's eat he.

"Oh! Billy, we're going to kill and eat you,
So undo the button of your chemie."
When Bill received this information
He used his pocket handkerchie.

"First let me say my catechism
Which my poor mammy taught to me."
"Make haste, make haste," says guzzling Jimmy,
While Jack pulled his snickersnee.

So Billy went up to the main-top gallant mast,
And down he fell on bended knee.
He scarce had come to the twelfth commandment
when up he jumps. "There's land I see:

"Jerusalem and Madagascar,
And North and South Amerikee;
There's the British flag a-riding at anchor,
With Admiral Napier, K.C.B."

So when they got aboard of the admiral's,
He hanged flat Jack and flogged Jimmee;
But as fro little Bill he make him
The Captain of a Seventy-three.

About the headline (FAQ)

Published in various other editions as "Little Billee"

Authorship

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: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-04-22
Line count: 36
Word count: 238