“Outward and Homeward Bound”


Shanty. Verses enumerate the ports to be visited and the girls being left behind. The singer says the purser will supply their needs, and looks forward to returning home after (three) years. Chorus: "We're outward bound, Hurrah, we're outward bound."


Most if not all versions of this share a verse with "Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down!?; at one time I lumped Shay's version with that song. We've now split them, but it seems clear there is some sort of borrowing going on. Given that "Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down!" is apparently a composed song, the best bet may be that that is a rewrite of this. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Harlow, pp. 136-139, "Outward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Hugill, pp. 541-543, "Outward and Homeward Bound" (2 texts, 2 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 387-389]
  3. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 147-148, "Homeward Bound" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #927
  5. BI, Hugi541


Alternate titles: “Homeward Bound”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1888 (L.A. Smith, _Music of the Waters_)
Keywords: shanty farewell travel
Found in: Britain US