Index of Lyrics
Saltpeter Shanty

as led by Barry Finn on Fathom This © 2007
Barry Finn and Neil Downey

For the Spanish Main we are bound away,
Oh roll!
For the Spanish Main we are bound away,
Oh roll!
We are sailin' away at the break of day
Where the swift bonnita and dolphin do play

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

From Liverpool Bay we are sailin' away,
Oh roll!
From Liverpool Bay we are sailin' away,
Oh roll!
We are sailin' away from Liverpool Bay
To the flash gals o' Chile who'll take all our pay

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

A lashin' of liquor the old man gives us,
Oh roll!
A lashin' of liquor the old man gives us,
Oh roll!
If he keeps it up we'll bust a gut
An' drive this ship through hell if we must

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

When the orders come round for to shorten more sail,
Oh roll!
When the orders come round for to shorten more sail,
Oh roll!
We'll call for more ale in a full blown gale
Or up aloft you'll not see our tails

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

For two weary weeks we beat round the Horn,
Oh roll!
For two weary weeks we beat round the Horn,
Oh roll!
To push us on till the break of dawn
Salt spray we drank from night until morn

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

Oh, Pedro the Crimp, boys, we know him of old,
Oh roll!
Oh, Pedro the Crimp, boys, we know him of old,
Oh roll!
He's primin' his vino; he's dopin' his beer;
To the Chinchas he'll ship us if we don't steer clear,

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

Them flash gals of Chile, they're so hard to beat,
Oh roll!
Them flash gals of Chile, they're so hard to beat,
Oh roll!
They'll greet us an' love us an' treat us to wine
But the bastards are robbin' us most of our time

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

When the orders come round for to sail away home,
Oh roll!
When the orders come round for to sail away home,
Oh roll!
From some old seaport town on the west coast of hell
We'll sing adios an' say fare-thee-well!

Oh roll! Rock 'er bars!
Heave 'er high-oh! Rock 'er roll!

Barry picked up the first verse and chorus in 1981 from a recording by the Critics Group called Slav Ho. Unable to find more than one verse, he sang it with the few verses that he had written until when performing at Mystic in 1997, he heard David Parry sing a version. David led Barry to Hugill's version, which is sung here with an additional verse from Pint and Dale and a few of Barry's verses. Joanna Colcord's book Roll and Go has the version called Slav Ho, which she in turn got from Captain Robinson's The Bellman.