The shifting apron, song

James Bonner, singing in English
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Lyrics

Come all you jolly sailor boys and listen to me song
It’s of a trick was played of late and it won’t detain you long
I came home from sea the other day and a fair maid I did meet
And she asked me up along with her to dance in Sackville Street.

Now says I My pretty fair maid I cannot dance too well
Besides I am for Newry Town my parents there do dwell
Now I’ve been at sea these past few years and saving fifty pounds
And me parents are expecting me this night in Newry Town.

Oh sure seeing that you cannot dance sure you can have a treat
You can have a glass of brandy sure and something for to eat
And at nine o’clock this evening I will see you to at the train
And you’ll be sure to give a call when you come to town again.

Oh she seemed to be so friendly so then I hired a car
We both drove off for Sackville Street and on arriving there
The people on the other side these words I heard them say
He’ll be sure in need of a jaunting car before they get away.

We hadn’t been long in the room when whiskey it came in
When everyone had got their share the dancing did begin
Me and my darling sure did trip a merry tune
While the other couples done the double-shuffle round the room.

When dancing it was over sure for bed we did prepare
Now after that we fell asleep the truth I will declare
Me darling and my fifty pounds my clothes and all had fled
And there I was just left alone with nothing but the bed.

Sure I looked at all around me but nothing I could spy
But a woman’s skirt and jumper at the foot of the bed did lie
I rung my hands I tore my hair saying alas what shall I do
May the lord be with you Newry Town I’ll never more see you.


When night it had come on and daylight was away
I put on the skirt and jumper and set off for the quay
And when I went aboard the ship the sailors all did say
Oh Jack I doubt you kissed the ducks since last you went away.

Is this the new spring fashions that you went to buy on shore
And where’s the shop that sells them do you think they have they any more
Says the Captain to Jack alone I thought you were for Newry Town
Could you not have bought a better suit than that for fifty pound.

As says he I could have bought a better one if I had got a chance
But I met a maid in High Street and she asked me for a dance
I danced me own destruction and I’ve done it so complete
That I vow I’ll never go back again to dance in Sackville Street.

Oh come all you jolly sailor boys a warning take by me
Be sure and choose your company when you go on the spree
Be sure and keep rid of Sackville Street or you will rue the day
With a woman’s skirt and jumper they will ship you out to sea.