Forebitter/Fo'c'sle Song or Capstan Shanty
Traditional. Arrangement by Bounding Main.
|Here's of a packet a packet of fame,
She sails from New York and the Dreadnought's her name.
'Cross the wild western ocean she's bound for to go;
She's the Liverpool packet, oh Lord, let her go!
Oh, the Dreadnought is lying in the river Mercey,
Now the Dreadnought's a-howling down the wild Irish Sea,
a-sailing the Atlantic so wide,
Now the Dreadnought is sailing by the banks of Newfoundland,
Here's health to the Dreadnought and all her brave crew;
For a great insight to this song, see this article in Simply Australia, titled "The Waterwitch."
"As a Forebitter the last line of each verse [Derry down . . .] would often be sung in chorus, but when used as a shanty at the capstan this chorus would be added:
"This Forebitter was often sung, with the inconsequence typical of seamen, to the tune of another Forebitter called "The Dom Pedero."
"The Dreadnaught was a flash American clipper packet launched in 1853 and she was famous for her many smart passages across the Atlantic. As Hugill notes, she was the Liverpool packet, not a Liverpool packet, meaning she did not hail from Liverpool, but traded there. She was shipwrecked in 1869 while rounding Cape Horn."
The river Mercey is still very active!