Friday, October 16, 2009

Homeward Bound

At the Dog and Bell in Deptford a couple of weeks ago I noticed on the wall the lyrics of a folk song (a sea shanty to be precise) called Homeward Bound. It includes the lines 'And now we haul to the Dog and Bell, Where there's good liquor for to sell. In comes old Archer with a smile, saying: "Drink, my lads, it's worth your while."For I see you are homeward bound,I see you are homeward bound.

I made a mental note to post on this as part of the ongoing collection of South London Songs, now I've noticed that Deptford Misc has already done so, as well as establishing that David Archer was the landlord of the Dog and Bell in the 1820s.

4 comments:

IMR said...

Rex Clements' 1928 book of Sea-songs 'Manavilins' includes a song titled 'Mind your eye'. The first verse goes:

As Jack was a-strolling the street up and down,
He spied pretty Polly of Camberwell town;
She'd a basket on arm, and as she passed by,
He hailed her: "What cheer?" Says she, "Mind you eye."

Transpontine said...

These comments are too good and need their own post!

Transpontine said...

Oh and there's a song called Pretty Polly of Deptford too, see earlier post:
http://transpont.blogspot.com/2007/10/pretty-polly-from-deptford.html

IMR said...

Maybe Polly was the agreed-upon name for Jack Tar's girlfriend in song? I guess there's some obscure connection too with the popular name for a pet parrot.

The book gives three verses of 'Mind Your Eye':

As Jack was a-strolling the street up and down,
He spied pretty Polly of Camberwell Town;
She'd a basket on arm, and as she passed by,
He hailed her: "What cheer?" Says she, "Mind your eye."

"Mind your eye, then" says Jack, "but what have we here?
For to know what it is I feel very queer."
" 'Tis the best of good liquors we sell on the sly,
And the name that it's called is just 'Mind your eye'."

[Rex Clements then notes: 'The surprise in store for Jack, and the developments it gave rise to run on through a number of hilarious verses. The last verse is monitory - Be good; or if you can't be good, be careful.']

So all you old shipmates, take warning by me,
When cruising ashore let the young women be;
If they get you in tow you're fast till you die,
And they'll learn you the lesson of "minding your eye."