“The Sailor's Alphabet”


Capstan/pumping shanty; sailors remember the alphabet and tell of their, "merry" lives: "A is the anchor that hangs o'er the bow/And B is the bowsprit that bends like a bow.... So merry, so merry, so merry are we/No mortals on earth like a sailor at sea"


We've cross-referenced this enough that it deserves its own entry, although it's identical in form to "The Logger's Alphabet." - PJS

Cross references


  • Clifford Jenkins et al, "The Sailor's Alphabet" (on LastDays)
  • Sam Larner, "Alphabet Song" (on SLarner01); "The Sailor's Alphabet" (on Voice12)
  • Capt. Leighton Robinson, "The Sailor's Alphabet" (on AFS, 1951; on LC26)
  • Leighton Robinson w. Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur & Leighton McKenzie, "Sailor's Alphabet" (on AFS 4230 B, 1939; in AMMEM/Cowell)


  1. BrownIII 229, "Alphabet of the Ship" (1 text)
  2. Peacock, pp. 885-886, "The Sailor's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Creighton-NovaScotia 98, "Alphabet Song" (2 texts, 1 tune; the "C" text is "The Logger's Alphabet")
  4. Harlow, pp. 52-54, "The Sailor's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Hugill, pp. 456-458, "The Bosun's Alphabet," "Old English Chantey" (2 texts, 2 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 341-342]
  6. Roud #159
  7. BI, RcTSAlp


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1932 (Creighton-NovaScotia)
Found in: Britain(England) US(SE) Canada(Mar,Newf)