A-Rovin’

Here’s another song subjectively presented by whichever of us happens to be singing it… Paul used to be famous for it, but either Tim or Rick will easily whip it out for the general amusement of our following. 
 
Stan Hugill points out that this was a very popular pump chantey although it did make its way to being sung at the capstan; the old pumps were operated in an “up and down” fashion, like both ends of a see-saw, and it created a rhythm begging for song.  The song itself is rather old and may very well date back to Elizabethan times; there are to be found variants on the melody and it can be found in folk music traditions of many places in Europe.  Sailors would sing it (as well as their other songs) for the titillation of the other men in their company but you will find it often “whitewashed” for public consumption these days.  Please do not take the lyrics set below as the only version out there! 

 
Amsterdam is a famous port city in the Netherlands and has an equally famous red-light district – any such location has always been the land-based destination for a sailor ashore!   I have heard a version of this song setting it in New Amsterdam – or, old New York (Manhattan Island) – But I doubt that that version is so old.

 

 

 

In Amsterdam there lived a maid
Mark well what I do say!
In Amsterdam there lived a maid
And she was a mistress of her trade
I’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid!

 
Chorus:
A-rovin’, a-rovin,
A-rovin’s been my ru-i-n
I’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid!

 
One night I crept from my abode
Mark well…
One night I crept from my abode
To meet this fair maid down the road.
I’ll go no more…

 
I met her walking on the strand
Mark well…
I met her walking on the strand
Where she reached out and took my hand
I’ll go no…

 
I took this fair maid for a walk
Mark well…
I took this fair maid for a walk
And we had such a lovely talk
I’ll go no…

 
We laid down on a grassy patch
Mark well…
We laid down on a grassy patch
She plumped down on her lovely ass
I’ll go no…

 
I put my hand upon her toe
Mark well…
I put my hand upon her toe
She said, “Young man, you’re much too slow.”
I’ll go no…

 
I put my arm around her waist
Mark well…
I put my arm around her waist
She said, “Young man, you’re in great haste!”
I’ll go no…

 
I put my hand upon her knee
Mark…
I put my hand upon her knee
She said, “Young man, that tickles me!”
I’ll go no…

 
I put my hand upon her thigh
Mark…
I put my hand upon her thigh
She said, “Young man, you’re rather high!”
I’ll go no…

 
I put my hand upon her breast
Mark…
I put my hand upon her breast
She said, “Young man, that’s my sea chest!”
I’ll go no…

 
I put my hand upon her snatch
Mark…
I put my hand upon her snatch
She said, “Young man, that’s my main hatch!”
I’ll go no…

 
Her heart was pounding like a drum
Mark…
Her heart was pounding like a drum
My prick was aching to get some
I’ll go no…

 
She rolled me over on my back
Mark…
She rolled me over on my back
And fucked me ‘till my bollocks cracked
I’ll go no…

 
In consequence of our fine spree
Mark…
In consequence of our fine spree
She swore that she’d be true to me
I’ll go no…

 
In two weeks time I was badly bent
Mark…
I two weeks time I was badly bent
So off to sea I sadly went
I’ll go no…

 
In three weeks time it hurt to piss
Mark…
In three weeks time it hurt to piss
Oh she gave me the syphilis!
I’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid!
 

 

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