Jack was a sailor on board a whaler

Caroline Brennan
© Item in copyright  (contact for information on re-use)
Downloads: PDF |  Metadata (Dublin Core)


Jack was a sailor on board a whaler, song (Jack was a sailor on board of a whaler ...)

This children’s son features a sailor named Jack. A friend asks him to pay a debt, and Jack responds, “You’ll have to wait till my ship comes in.” When Jack later survives a shipwreck and his friend makes the same demand, Jack gives the same excuse. 

Though the song follows a standard verse-and-refrain form, the metric structure of the song is somewhat unusual: verses are sung in triple metre and choruses are in duple metre, matching shifts in the narration from third to first person.


With thanks to RTÉ Sound Archives for their digitisation of the Kenneth Goldstein/Aidan O'Hara Reels.