Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Homeward Bound - Dog and Bell 2

The sea shanty below appears in various magazines and books from the 1870s to the present day. Many of those who have published the song seem to have assumed that the references to the Dog and Bell and 'old Archer' are to some sort of every-pub and every-pub landlord respectively. A long discussion of various versions of the song appear here. Notably the song appeared, complete with references to the Dog and Archer in American Sea Songs and Chanteys (Chay, Frank published Norton 1948). However, as we now know Mr David Archer was the landlord of the Dog and Bell in the 1820s. See my post here .

The version below is from here, where a score can be found for the music. All we need to do now is find somebody to sing it.

Homeward Bound

Now to Blackwall Docks we bid adieu,
To Suke and Sal and Kitty too;
Our anchor's weighed, our sails unfurled,
We are bound to plough the watery world.
Huzzah, we are homeward bound (2x)

Now the wind blows hard from the east-nor'-east,
Our ship will sail ten knots at least;
The purser will our wants supply,
And while we've grog we'll never say die.

And should we touch at Malabar
Or any other port as far
The purser he will tip the chink,
And just like fishes we will drink.

And now our three years it is out,
lt's very near time we backed about;
And when we're home and do get free,
Oh won't we have a jolly spree.

And now we haul into the docks
Where all those pretty girls come in flocks,
And one to the other they will say:
"Oh here comes Jack with his three years' pay"

And now we haul to the Dog and Bell
Where there's good liquor for to sell.
ln 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.

But when our money's all gone and spent,
And none to be borrowed nor none to be lent,
ln comes old Archer with a frown,
Saying: "Get up, Jack, let John sit down."
For I see you are homeward bound,
I see you are homeward bound.

This version originally From Oxford Book of Sea Songs, Palmer RG


  1. I can sing it - although probably not as well as I might after a couple of pints of ale...