Pay Me

When a ship came into port it needed to offload its cargo, which involved longshoremen or stevedores.  The captains or masters of the vessels would promise pay as soon as the job was done, but sometimes the ship would slip its mooring or dockside in the night, thus avoiding paying the stevedores.  This song can thus be seen as a formal complaint or union expression.  Composed by Lydia A. Parrish, (c)1942, Hollis Music, Inc, NY, NY.

 

Chorus:
Pay me, pay me
Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down

I thought I heard our captain say
Pay me my money down
Tomorrow is our salary day
Pay me my money down

Chorus:

Soon as the boat was clear of the bar
Pay me my money down
He knocked me down with the end of a spar
Pay me my money down

Chorus:

How I wish that the boss was blind
Pay me my money down
I wouldn’t go to work until a-half past nine
Pay me my money down.

Chorus:

Wish I was the boss’ son,
Pay me my money down,
Sit in the house and drink good rum,
Pay me my money down

Chorus:

I wish I was the captain’s son
Pay me my money down,
Sit on the bank and watch the work done,
Pay me my money down

Chorus:

You Pay me, you owe me!
Pay me my money down
Pay me or you’re going to jail!
Pay me my money down!

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