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A traditional song rooted in the 19th century, the first known published form was included in Lydia Parrish's book Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands in 1942. It was popularized by Pete Seeger in the 1960s, and has been performed by numerous other famous artists.

It appears as the 10th track on Between Wind and Water.

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.

{Robbie}
I thought I heard the captain say,
(Pay me my money down)
"Tomorrow is our sailing day."
(Pay me my money down)

{Chorus}
Well, pay me! (pay me!) pay me! (pay me!)
Pay me my money down!
Pay me or go to jail!
Pay me my money down!

{Robbie}
As soon as the boat was clear of the bar,
(Pay me my money down)
The captain knocked me with a spar
(Pay me my money down)

{Chorus}

{Robbie}
I wish I was a rich man's son,
(Pay me my money down)
I'd sit by the river and drink dark rum (mm!)
(Pay me my money down)

{Robbie}
Well I wish I was Mr. Gates,
(Pay me my money down)
They'd bring my money down in crates!
(Pay me my money down)

{Robbie}
Well forty nights, nights at sea!
(Pay me my money down)
The captain bled every last dollar out of me!
(Pay me my money down)

{Chorus til Finish}

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