MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
Eddy Primroy NFLD 1 Tape 14 Track 8
Pouch Cove Audio:
Comic song Mr. Primroy accompanies himself on guitar

Now twas twenty-five or thirty years since Jack first saw the light
He came into this world of woe one dark and stormy night
He was born on board his father's ship as she was lying to
'Bout twenty-five or thirty miles southeast of Baccalieu

Chorus: Jack was every inch a sailor five and twenty years a whaler
Jack was every inch a sailor; he was born upon the bright blue sea

Oh the whale went straight for Baffin's Bay 'bout ninety knots an hour
And every time he'd send a spray he'd send it in a shower
Oh, now says Jack unto himself he'll see what he's about
So he caught the whale hold by the tail and he turned him inside out

Chorus: Jack was every inch a sailor five and twenty years a whaler
Jack was every inch a sailor; he was born upon the bright blue sea


Notes

Sources: Mercer 137; and long list; Greenleaf; for recordings by CJON Glee Club, Wilf Doyle, Anne Marie Murray, Dick Nolan, St. John's Extension Choir, A.R. Scammell, Terra Novans, Omar Blondahl, Frank Crumit (1928), Thomas Kines, National Film Board of Canada, Ed McCurdy, Bill McKay, Alan Mills, Singalong Jubilee, Tom Jim & Garth, see Taft 85.

History: Composed in the U.S. in the 1880s as part of a theatrical parody of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore .   Popularized in a recording by Frank Crumit in 1928.

Text notes: A comic song that recounts a tall tale in which Jack is swallowed by a whale that he then grabs by the tail and turns inside out.

Tune notes: Both stanzas and refrain feature repeated lines-- "aa'aa'" in the stanza and "abac" in the refrain -- with changes in cadence patterns and harmony in alternate lines.

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