The Longest Song Wiki

Originally titled "Give Me the Punch Ladle" this song's earliest date in print is as early as 1819, but it is suspected that it pre-dates even that. A traditional tune and staple of the folk music community.

It has been performed by numerous artists.

It bears noting that though there has been some debate about the racial connotations of the lyric "black as the coal", contemporary slang in other folk songs suggests this line may refer to a 'spiteful' or 'evil' nature rather than a physical attribute. See a similar line in "The Cobbler" for reference.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Livestreams, the original lyrics can be found here.

Come all you bold heroes; give ear to my song.
I'll sing in the praise of good brandy and rum.
It's a clear crystal fountain over England doth roll.
(Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.)

{Chorus}
I'll fathom the bowl. I'll fathom the bowl.
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

From France we do get brandy. From Jamaica comes rum.
Sweet oranges and apples from Portugal come.
But stout and strong cider are England's control.
(Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.)

{Chorus}

My wife she do grieve me when I'm lying at my ease.
She does as she likes and she says as she please
My wife is the devil, she's black as the coal.
(Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.)

{Chorus}

My father he do lie at the bottom of the sea,
With no stone at his head, ah but what careth he?
While a clear crystal fountain over England doth roll,
(Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.)

{Chorus til Finish}


Source: Mudcat