8 - Black Ball Line

Words by Traditional
Tune by Traditional

The Black Ball Line was the name of two rival fleets of transatlantic packet ships, one based in Liverpool and the other based in the New York. The Liverpool branch of the line operated from 1852 until 1871.

In the Black Ball line I served my time
To me way-aye-aye, hurray-ah
And that’s the line where you can shine
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line

The Black Ball Ships are good and true
To me way-aye-aye, hurray-ah
They are the ships for me and you
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line

For once there was a Black Ball Ship
That fourteen knots an hour could clip

They’ll carry you along through frost and snow
And take you where the wind don’t blow

You will surely find a rich gold mine
Just take a trip in the Black Ball Line

Just take a trip to Liverpool
To Liverpool, that Yankee school

The Yankee sailors you’ll see there
With red-top boots and short-cut hair

At Liverpool docks we bid adieu
To friends and loves, but still sing true