9 - Blow The Man Down

Words by Traditional
Tune by Traditional

The Black Ball Line was the name of two fleets of transatlantic packet ships, one based in Liverpool and the other in New York. 'Kicking Jack Williams' was a captain on the American side. Infamous for tough discipline on board, he was also famed for record-breaking runs.

Come all you young fellows that follow the sea,
To me way, hey, blow the man down
Now please pay attention and listen to me
Give me some time to blow the man down

Blow the man down to me, blow the man down
To me way, hey, blow the man down
Blow him right back to LIverpool town,
Give me some time to blow the man down

I’m a deep water sailor just come from Hong Kong,
To me way, hey, blow the man down
You give me some whiskey I’ll sing you a song
Give me some time to blow the man down

Blow the man down to me, blow the man down
To me way, hey, blow the man down
Blow him right back to LIverpool town,
Give me some time to blow the man down

'Twas on a black baller I first served my time,
To me…
On a trim black ball liner I wasted me prime
Give me…

Blow the man down to me, blow the man down…

When a trim black ball liner’s preparing for sea
You’ll split your sides laughing, such sights you would see

There’s tinkers and tailors, shoemakers and all
They’re all shipped for sailors aboard the black ball

When a big black ball liner’s a leaving her dock,
All of the town to the pier head do flock

Now when the big liner, she’s clear of the land
Our bosun he roars out the word of command

“Come quickly, lay aft to the break of the poop,
Or I’ll help you along with the toe of my boot”

Pay attention to orders now, you one and all,
For see high above, there flies the Black Ball

'Tis larboard and starboard on deck you will sprawl,
For Kicking Jack Williams commands the Black Ball