Sheffield Ship Canal



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Come all you dry land sailors bold and listen unto me
And unto you a tale I'll tell of shipwrecks on the sea
Of shipwrecks and disasters that unto me befell
When we travelled from Sheffield to Rotherham on the Sheffield Ship Canal

Now the captain was a noble man and he hailed from West Bar Green
Where he owned a large establishment making ochie pochie cream
The first mate was an Irishmen his name was Teddy Doyle
And all the watter we had to sup were a barrel of paraffin oil

Well we set sail from Sheffield town one snowy summers day
With a crew of four and twenty deaf and dumb men shouting hip hip hip hooray
We weighed the anchor - 16 ounce - and gaily sailed away
To the shores of darkest Rotherham with a cargo of coal and clay

But when we got to Broughton Lane we ran upon some rocks
But we were saved by t'old lifeboat launched out from Tyndsley docks
We got her off, off we went, and found we'd sprung a leak
But then we soon bunged up the hole wi' a wart of captain's cheek

But when we came to Pothouse Lane a pirate hove in sight
By the time we got to Templeborough the bosun's face was white
'Put on more steam', the captain cried, 'for you see we're sorely pressed'
When the engineer yelled from the bank 'T'old horse is doing his best'

At last we got to Rotherham, we'd been six months in fog
And all the food we had to eat were a dried up terrier dog - in a bag
Now the boat lies in the pot shop and the crew's in Wakefield jail
And I'm the only liar left to tell this rotten tail


A south Yorkshire version of the 'Cruise of the Calabar'. This is a composite version from the singing of Cliff Kay of Eckington and the recitation of Leo Nelson of Sheffield Ramblers (collected in the 1970s). Sung and recorded by Ruairidh Grieg, 22 May 2018.