Song Of The Wooden-Legged Fiddler

PORTSMOUTH


I lived in a cottage adown in the West
When I was a boy, a boy;
But I knew no peace and I took no rest
Though the roses nigh smothered my snug little nest;
For the smell of the sea
Was much rarer to me,
And the life of a sailor was all my joy.

CHORUS.--The life of a sailor was all my joy!

My mother she wept, and she begged me to stay
Anchored for life to her apron-string,
And soon she would want me to help with the hay;
So I bided her time, then I flitted away
On a night of delight in the following spring,
With a pair of stout shoon
And a seafaring tune
And a bundle and stick in the light of the moon,
Down the long road
To Portsmouth I strode,
To fight like a sailor for country and king.

CHORUS.--To fight like a sailor for country and king.

And now that my feet are turned homeward again
My heart is still crying Ahoy! Ahoy!
And my thoughts are still out on the Spanish main
A-chasing the frigates of France and Spain,
For at heart an old sailor is always a boy;
And his nose will still itch
For the powder and pitch
Till the days when he can't tell t'other from which,
Nor a grin o' the guns from a glint o' the sea,
Nor a skipper like Nelson from lubbers like me.

CHORUS.--Nor a skipper like Nelson from lubbers like me.

Ay! Now that I'm old I'm as bold as the best,
And the life of a sailor is all my joy;
Though I've swapped my leg
For a wooden peg
And my head is as bald as a new-laid egg,
The smell of the sea
Is like victuals to me,
And I think in the grave I'll be crying Ahoy!
For, though my old carcass is ready to rest,
At heart an old sailor is always a boy.

CHORUS.--At heart an old sailor is always a boy.
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