Blow, Boys, Blow

Tops'l Halyard Shanty

Traditional

(Say,) Was you ever down the Congo River?
Resp: Blow, boys, blow!
Where fever makes the white man shiver.
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!

A Bristol ship comes down the river,
Resp: Blow, boys, blow!
A Bristol ship with a Bristol skipper,
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!

How do you know she's a Bristol clipper;
Resp: Blow, boys, blow!
Her masts and yards they shine like silver.
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!

And how do you know she's a Bristol cutter;
Resp: Blow, boys, blow!
By the blood and guts rollin' in her scupper.
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!

Who do you think is captain of her?
Resp: We don't know!
Why, Bully Hayes is the captain of her
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!

What do you think they had for breakfast?
Resp: Cheerios!
The starboard side of an old Sou-wester.
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!
What do you think they had for dinner?
Resp: Chicken toes!
Belayin' pin pie and a trip through the wringer.
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!
What do you think they had for supper?
Resp: Marshmallows!
Belayin' pin pie and a roll in the scupper!
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!
Oh, what did they play right after supper?
Resp: Touch your toes? Dominoes? Nintendo-"z"?
Oars a rowin' and holy stone scrubbin!
Resp: Blow, my bully boys, blow!

O, blow today and blow tomorrow,
Resp: This song blows!
Blow me from this ship of sorrow.
Resp: Please, Jon, let us go!
 
Needless to say, this is not a serious version of this piece. There are version of this song that tell of the Guinea Trade, the African Trade (slaving) and of Yankee ships. Our version refers to our "home port" of Bristol (as in The Bristol Renaissance Faire).
 
"It isn't hard to understand why the mosquito is so reviled. Elegant, dainty and deadly, it is the most common of all blood-sucking arthropods and the most important insect carrier of human disease, transmitting not only malaria but also yellow fever, dengue, West Nile virus, encephalitis, and the tiny worms that cause elephantiasis. But mosquitoes, with 3,550 species, have their place in the web of life. Birds, bats, fish and many significant wetland species, including dragonflies, feed on them. Anopheles mosquitoes - among them A. stephensi . . . have arguably changed the course of human history. Over the centuries they have killed untold millions with the aid of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, which they inject into blood along with their saliva. Prior to the widespread use of quinine, in fact, it was mosquito-borne malaria that largely protected Africa from European colonists, who died from the disease in such high numbers that the west coast of Africa was dubbed the white man's grave."

Article from Discover Magazine, June 2004, "Bzzz - Why insects are vital to human survival," by Josie Glausiusz.
 
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