“Ben Backstay”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1948 (Shay)
Keywords: sailor death humorous ghost drink

Description

"Ben Backstay was our boatswain, A very merry boy." The captain serves out double grog. Ben gets drunk and falls overboard. They throw ropes to him, but he can't return because a "shark had bit his head off." Ben's ghost warns against mixing liquor

Supplemental text

Ben Backstay
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Frank Shay, American Sea Songs and Chanteys, pp. 98-101.
Source not indicated.

Ben Backstay was our boatswain,
A very merry boy,
For no one half so merrily
Could pipe all hands ahoy.
And when unto his summons
We did not well attend,
No lad than he more merrily,
Could handle the rope's end.

  Singing chip chow, cherry chow,
  Fol de riddle ido.
  Singing chip chow, cherry chow,
  Fol de riddle ido.


(3 additional stanzas)

References

  1. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 98-101, "Ben Backstay" (1 text)
  2. ST ShSea098 (Partial)
  3. BI, ShSea098