Overview & Credits


Uncle Steve's solo acoustic folk release of original & traditional sea shanties.


Musicians

vox, guitar - Steve McPhail

Production

engineered by - Darren Sachs
recorded at - Darren's Home Studio, Oshawa, ON, Canada
uncle Steve photos - Capt. Kirk Bushnell (cover & tray insert)
grafx (insert)- 'Mariner's Celestial Navigation' by William P. Crawford
grafx (CD face) - 'Blue Schooner' by Dagny Sellorin
mastered by - Dan Rudick
artwork by - Jeannine Munn
at JacknLefty's Multimedia Services, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
JacknLefty@saltspring.com
manufactured at - Accudub Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada
produced by - Derek Stephen McPhail
a Beer Weazl Production
published by - Float Street Music, Silver City, NM, U.S.A.
all songs ©2005 D. S. McPhail

Sea Fever

lyric by John Masefield
music by Eduardo Teja & Stephen McPhail

I must down to the sea agin
Lonely sea & the sky...
All I ask is a tall ship
Star to steer her by...
Wheel's kick & the wind song
White sail's shakin'...

Grey mist on the sea face
And a grey dawn breakin'...
I must down to the sea agin
Call of the runnin' tide...
Wild call & a clear call
May not be denied...

All I ask is a windy day
White clouds flyin'...
Flung spray & the blown spume
And the sea-gulls cryin'...
I must down to the sea agin
Vagrant gypsy life...

Gull's way & the whale's way
Wind like a whetted knife...
All i ask is a merry yarn
From laughin' fellow-rover...
Quiet sleep & a sweet dream
When the long trick's over...

Seafaring Life

lyric by Everett Adams & Stephen McPhail
music by Stephen McPhail

Ottawa hammered 'nother nail in the coffin
Of Canada's seafarin' life...
Pullin' the plug on our largest shipyard
Layin' off skilled labour in times of strife...
Competin' subsidized foreign shipbuilders
Navy contracts unwound...
Was a sad day for our proud nation
'Saint john shipbuilding' closed down...
For years the irvings had lobbied the feds
Proper shipbuildin' policy...
To honour traditions & families who shared 'em
Protection, not elite complacency...
Free trade benefits
Everyone but us...
Closin' down Canada's
Seafarin' life...

Government like ours
Who can you trust...
Closin' down Canada's
Workin' class life...
World war ii had created in Canada
World's largest merchant marine...
Armed forces & coastguard dismantled
Surrendered our fish to men's greed...
Pirate trawlers came prowlin'
Overfishin' blamed on our own...
Ministry experts demand the 'right thing'
Salmon & cod be closed down...
Government pigs in the corporate trough
Make it criminal to work with yr hands...
Only hammerin' done are nails in the coffin
Of Canada's hard workin' man...

Mothered by Sea

lyric by Everett Adams ↦ Stephen McPhail
music by Stephen McPhail

We are an island, surrounded by sea
Buffed by yr winds, either storm or soft breeze
We are yr children, raised ruthlessly
Fathered by land, mothered by sea...

Ocean refresh us, ocean provide
Yr waters sustain us, yet we're mashed by yr tides
You give of yr bounty, yield up yr wealth
When we ill use you, yr anger is felt...

We are a people, hardened by time
Tested & tried, in body & mind
We the survivors, live till we die
By what you taught us, to stay alive...

Ocean you bless us, sometimes you curse
You feed when we hunger, but can't quench our thirst
You coddle yr children, then steal some away
To sleep below water, instead of in clay...

Old Jack

lyric & music by Stephen McPhail

I see old jack driftin' off to sleep in the bar
His mind's in a dream on a distant star...
Spends his life buildin' ships to sail on the sea
Now he's sailin' off in space through the galaxy...

Old jack's blues...
Its a lonely ship that he's sailin' on
His crew are zombies, their minds have gone...

You know he's the captain, in control of the ship
But, he wants to go home, its been a helluva trip...
Now old jack's blues, you know he keeps inside
But too much sadness is hard to hide...

It's pretty hard goin' against the tide
I wish to christ he'd let go & take that ride...
Take that ride, jack...

Drunk'n Sailor

lyric & music a traditional sea chantey

What shall we do with a drunk'n sailor...
Earlie in the morning...
Take 'im & shake 'im & try to wake 'im...
Heave ho & up she rises...
Earlie in the morning...

Give 'im a dose of salt & water...
Sling 'im in a leaky boat & make 'im bail 'er...
Shave his balls with a rusty razor...
Put 'im in bed with the captain's daughter...
That's what we do with a drunk' sailor...

Sea Dog

lyric by Eduardo Teja & Stephen McPhail
music by Stephen McPhail

Just a sea dog
Howling crazy...
Drifting in a lifeboat...
Jolly roger flying
Scurvy pirate...

Armed to the teeth, to boot...
Ocean laughing
All around him...
Wind snarling in cahoots...
Dirty deeds
Come back to haunt him...
But, he don't give a hoot...

Just a sea dog...
Death tries to read his
Poker face...
Strip him of his loot...

Sea monsters with
Their baleful eyes...
Can't seem to get his goat...
He'd rather slake
His thirst on rum...
Than, salt water up his snoot...

Just a sea dog
Howling crazy...
Drifting in a lifeboat...
Just a sea dog...

Jamaica Farewell

lyric & music by Lord Burgess

Down the bay
Where the nights are gay...
Sun shines daily
On the mountain top...
Took a trip
On a sailing ship...
When i reached jamaica
I made a stop...

But, i'm sad to say
I'm on my way...
Won't be back
For many a day...
My heart is down
My head is turning around...
Had to leave a little girl
In kingston town...

Sounds of laughter
Everywhere...
Dancing girls
Sway to & fro...
I must declare
My heart is there...
Though I've been from
Maine to Mexico...

Down the market
You can hear...
Ladies cry out while on
Their backs they bear...
Ackey rice
Salt fish are nice...
Rum is fine
Any time of year...

Nassau Bound

lyric & music a traditional Bahaman sea chantey

We come on the sloop John B
My grandfather & me...
Around nassau town we did roam
Drinkin' all night, got into a fight...
Feel so broke up
I wanna go home...

So, hoist up the john b sail
See how the main sail sets...
Call for the captain ashore
Let me go home...
I wanna go home
Feel so broke up
I wanna go home...

First mate, he got drunk
Broke in the captain's trunk...
Constable had to come
Take him away...
Sheriff john stone
Why don't you leave me alone?...
Feel so broke up
I wanna go home...

Poor cook he got the fits
Threw out all my grits...
Then, he took & ate up
All of my corn...
Let me go home
I wanna go home...
This is the worst trip
I've ever been on...

Too Long Ashore

lyric by Everett Adams
music by Stephen McPhail

Come all ye landlubbers, sickly & pale
Been too long ashore, so hoist the mainsail
Over to boston, for sugar & tea
Then for the islands' rum & molassie

We're leaving for boston at dawn...
Come on, get the lead out, pull up yr socks...
We're off at daylight, be smart by the docks
Keep a sharp eye out, keep off the rocks

We're leaving for boston at dawn...
When we hit boston, we all go ashore
Offload our fishies, from labrador
Sweat sugar & tea, replenish our grub

Then, off with the tide, steer clear of the pub
We're leaving from boston at dawn...
Reaching the islands & loading her down
We set her mainsail, straight for St. John's town

Passing the narrows, the crew gave a cheer
Celebration tonight, there's one thing for sure
We're not leaving for boston at dawn...
After the winter, confined to the shore

Glad we'll be, when the captain roars...

I'se the B'y

lyric & music a traditional Newfie sea chantey

I'se the B'y that builds the boat
I'se the B'y that sails her...
I'se the B'y that catches the fish
Takes 'em home to lizer...

Sods & rinds to cover yr flake
Cake & tea for supper...
Cod fish in the spring of the year
Fried in maggoty butter...

Hip yr partner, sally tibbo
Hip yr partner, sally brown...
Fogo, twillingate, moreton's harbour
All around the circle...

I don't want yr maggoty fish
That's no good for winter...
I can buy as good as that
Down in bonavista...

I took lizer to a dance
Fast as she would travel
Every step that she did take
Was up to her knees in gravel...

Susan white, she's out of sight
Snuggling with her partner...
Bet she's off with Uncle Steve
Kissing in the corner...

Pint of Plain

lyric by Brian O'Nolan (aka Flann O'Brien)
music by Stephen McPhail

When things go wrong & will not come right
Though you do the best you can...
When life looks black as the hour of night
A pint of plain is yr only man...

When money's tight & hard to get
& Yr horse has also ran...
When all you have is a heap of debt
A pint of plain is yr only man...

Pint of plain...
Is yr only man...

When health is bad & yr heart feels strange
& Yr face is pale & wan...
When doctors say that you need a change
A pint of plain is yr only man...

When food is scarce & yr larder bare
& No rashers grease yr pan...
When hunger grows as yr meals are rare
A pint of plain is yr only man...

In time of trouble & lousy strife
You've still got a darlint plan...
You can turn to a brighter life
A pint of plain is yr only man...

Capital Ship

lyric & music by Charles Carryl

A capital ship for an ocean trip
Was the 'walloping window blind'...
No gale that blew dismayed her crew
Or troubled the captain's mind...

The man at the wheel was made to feel
Contempt for the wildest blow-ow-ow...
Though it often appeared when the gale had cleared
That he'd been in his bunk below...

Then blow ye winds hi-ho...
A-roving i will go...
I'll stay no more on Canada's shore...
So let the music play-ay-ay...

I'm off on the morning train...
I'll cross the raging main...
I'm off to my love with a boxing glove...
Ten thousand miles away...

The bosun's mate was very sedate
Yet fond of amusement too...
He played hop-scotch with the starboard watch
While the captain tickled the crew...

And the gunner we had was apparently mad
For he sat on the after rai-ai-ail...
& Fired salutes with the captain's boots
In the teeth of a booming gale...

The captain sat on the commodore's hat
& Dined in a royal way...
On toasted pigs & pickles & figs
& Gunnery bread each day...

The cook was dutch & behaved as such
For the diet he gave the crew-ew-ew...
Was a number of tons of hot cross buns
Served up with sugar & glue...

We all fell ill as mariners will
On a diet that's cheap & rude...
We shivered & shook as we dumped the cook
In a tub of his gruesome food...

Then nautical pride we lay aside
As we cast the vessel ashore...
On the gulliby isles, where the poo-poo smiles
& The alagamander roars...

Composed of sand was that favored land
& Lined with cinnamon stalks...
Pink & blue was the pleasing hue
Of the tickle-toe-teaser's claw...

We sat on the edge of a sandy ledge
& Fired at the whistling bee...
& The binnacle bats wore waterproof hats
As they danced in the sounding sea...

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