On board the 'Kangaroo'

from by Phil Edwards

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lyrics

Oh once I was a waiting man and I lived at home at ease,
But now I am a mariner and I plough the angry seas.
Well, I thought I'd like the seafaring life, so I bid my love adieu,
And I shipped as steward and cook, my boys, on board the Kangaroo.

Oh I never thought she would prove false, or even prove untrue,
Till we sailed away from Milford Bay on board the 'Kangaroo'.

“Cheer up! Cheer up! my own true love, don't weep so bitterly.”
But she sobbed, she sighed, she choked, she cried, she could not say goodbye.
“Oh I won't be gone so very long, about a month or two,
And when that I return again, then I'll marry you.”

My love she is no foolish girl, her age it is two score,
My love she is no spinster, she's been married twice before.
And I cannot say it was her wealth that held my heart in sway,
She's a starcher at a laundry for eighteen pence a day.

Our vessel she was homeward bound from many's the foreign shore,
And many's the foreign presents unto my love I bore.
I bought tortoises from Tenerife, toys from Timbuktu,
And a China rat and a Bombay cat and a Bengal cockatoo.

Paid off, I sought her dwelling in a suburb of the town
Where an ancient dame upon the line was pegging out her gown.
“Where is my love?” “She's married, sir, about a month ago,
To a fine young man that drives a van for Chapman Son & Co.”

Here's a health to the dreams of married life, to soap, to suds and blue.
Heart's true love and patent starch, washing soda too.
I'll take me to some foreign shore, no longer will I stay,
And on some Chinese Hottentot I'll throw myself away.

credits

from 52 Folk Songs: Green, released March 10, 2012
Phil Edwards: vocal, melodica, C and G whistles

After Tony Rose; derived ultimately from a song by Harry Clifton (1824-72).

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