“The Drunken Sailor (Early in the Morning)”


Walkaway (stamp and go) shanty. The sailors ask, "What shall we do with the drunken sailor (x3), Early in the morning. Way, hey, and up she rises (x3), Early in the morning." Various suggestions are offered, few of them pleasant.


A modern verse: "Put him in charge of an Exxon tanker..." - PJS

Bone says of this that it "must be of failry recent date, for only in a comparatively large ship could there be room on deck for 'walking' a light sail aloft, the operation at which [this] was generally used. It was not a chanty often sung. I remember it chiefly as a showy accompaniment when all hands were employed on deck and there was an atmosphere of good humour with us." - RBW

Same tune

  • What Shall We Do for the Striking Seamen? (Greenway-AFP, pp. 233-234)
  • What Do You Do with a Dirty Family? (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 231)

Cross references


  • Cadgwith Fishermen, "What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?" (on LastDays)
  • Richard Maitland, "The Drunken Sailor" (AFS, 1936; on LC26)
  • Pete Seeger, "What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?" (on PeteSeeger31)


  1. Doerflinger, p. 48, "The Drunken Sailor, or Early in the Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 61-62, "Early in the Morning" (1 text)
  3. Smith/Hatt, p. 36, "What You Going To Do With a Drunken Sailor" (1 text)
  4. Bone, pp. 40-41, "Early in th' Morning" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  5. Colcord, p. 78, "The Drunken Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Harlow, pp. 25-26, "The Drunken Sailor (Up She Rises)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Hugill, pp. 134-135, "Drunken Sailor" (2 texts, 2 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 109-110]
  8. Sharp-EFC, VII, p. 8, "Drunken Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. SharpAp 257, "Up She Rises" (1 text, 1 tune, actually a playparty which shares only the chorus and a variant of the tune with "Drunken Sailor")
  10. Silber-FSWB, p. 92, "What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor" (1 text)
  11. Fuld-WFM, pp. 205-206, "Drunken Sailor (Monkey's Wedding -- John Brown Had a Little Injun -- Ten Little Injuns)"
  13. Roud #322
  14. BI, Doe048


Alternate titles: “Hooray an' Up She Rises"”; “Up She Rises”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1841
Found in: US(MA) Canada(Mar)