When it comes to singing, it may fairly be said that Woodside, on occasions, demonstrate a greater level of enthusiasm than quality. But such is often the fate of Folk singing - the songs are sung by people 'of the people' and our abilities brilliantly reflect that great and noble custom. The truth is, when singing with a pint in your hand after an arduous evening's dancing and playing, it is enthusiasm, participation and camaraderie that tend to create the moment.
And speaking of participation, here is your chance to make the difference! Select from the songs below, and lo! Your pleasure shall be displayed in the song panel to the right! Put your finger in your ear, and let it rip...
Country Life
Drunken Sailor
Pleasant and Delightful
Sweet Nightingale
Fathom the Bowl
Strike the Bell
South Australia
New York Girls
Rolling Home
The Sussex Carol
The Boar's Head Carol
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Strike the Bell
Verse 1
Out on the quarter deck and walking about,
There’s the second mate so sturdy and so stout.
What he is a-thinkin’ of he doesn’t know himself,
We wish that he would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.
Strike the bell second mate, an’ let’s go below,
Look out to windward you can see its gonna blow.
Look at the glass you can see that it is fell,
We wish that you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.
Verse 2
Down on the main deck and workin’ on the pumps,
There’s the starboard watch a-longin’ for their bunks.
Look out to windward and see a great swell,
We wish that you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.
Verse 3
Aft at the wheel, poor Anderson stands,
Graspin’ at the spokes with his cold mitten hands,
Looks at the compass and the course is clear as hell,
We wish that you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.
Verse 4
Forward at the foc’sl’ head and keeping sharp lookout,
Yonder there is John a-ready for to shout.
“Lights are burnin’ bright sir and everything is well.”
We wish that you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.
Verse 5
Out on the poop deck the gallant captain stands,
Lookin’ out to sea with a spyglass in his hands.
What he is a-thinkin’ of we know damn well.
He’s thinking more of shortenin’ sail than striking the bell.
This song is the first with some indication of its origin. Strike the Bell is a British sailor's song that started life as a song called Ring the Bell Watchman, wich is the same original source as for Australia's "Click The Shears". "Ring the Bell Watchman" was written by Henry Clay Work, who also wrote, among other tunes, "Grandfather's Clock".
The original, and its Australian offspring, are more about what goes on whilst time is passing on the job, whereas the English seafarer's version is about urging the time to pass more quickly so that rest can be taken.