The Longest Song Wiki

A traditional folk song that originates in Canada in the early 20th century, though likely predates that, popularized by famous singers such as A.L. Lloyd, Lou Killen, and the Dubliners.

This song is the seventh track on Between Wind and Water.

Factoids

"Rapper Brown" is a mutation of the infamous San Francisco boarding house master Shanghai Brown. Boardinghouse masters, or "crimps" are a common theme in various shanties and sea songs.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns on their album, Between Wind and Water. The original lyrics can be found here.

{JD}
When first I landed in Liverpool, I went upon the spree
With money at last, I spent it fast, I got drunk as drunk could be,
But when my money was all gone, it was then that I wanted more,
But a man must be blind to make up his mind, to go to sea once more.

{Together}
Once more, once more, go to sea once more,
But a man must be blind to make up his mind,
To go to sea once more.

{JD}
And as I walked down London Road I met with a Rapper Brown,
I asked him if he'd take me in and he looked at me with a frown,
He said: "Last time you was paid off, to me you chalked no score,
But I'll give you a chance and I'll take your advance,
And I'll send you to sea once more."

{Together}
Once more, once more, send you to sea once more,
But I'll give you a chance and I'll take your advance
And I'll send you to go to sea once more.

{JD}
I shipped on board of a whaling barque, we were bound for the Greenland seas
Where cold winds blow through frost and snow, why Jamaica rum would freeze
And worst to bear, I'd no hard weather gear, as I'd spent all my money ashore
It was then that I wished that I was dead and could go to sea no more

{Together}
No more, no more, go to sea no more
It was then that I wished that I was dead and could go to sea no more

{JD}
Some times we're catching whales, me lads, some times we're catching none
With a twenty-foot oar stuck in your paw, from four o'clock in the morn
And as the shades of night roll on and you rest on your weary oar,
It was then that I wished that I was dead and could go to sea no more

{Together}
No more, no more, go to sea no more
It was then that I wished that I was dead and could go to sea no more

{JD}
So come all of you hard weather sailing lads, who listen to my song
When you get back from those long trips, I'd have you not go wrong
Take my advice, drink no strong drink, don't you knock on that brothel door
But get married instead and spend all night in bed, and go to sea no more.

{Together, Repeat to Finish}
No more, no more, go to sea no more
But get married instead and spend all night in bed, and go to sea no more.