The Longest Song Wiki

Also titled The Sailor Laddie, Frankie Armstrong wrote in the liner notes of the album Fellside in 2000 that the song had been dated back as early as 1781, though the modern day version of the tune more closely resembles one recorded by John Aston in his text Real Sailor Songs (published 1891.)

The Longest Johns version seems to more closely follow the variant of the lyrics used by Eliza Carthy.


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

Don't ya see the ships a'comin?
Don't ya see them in full sail?
Don't ya see the ships a'comin
With their prizes at their tail?

Oh, my little rolling sailor
Oh, my little rolling he
How I love my rolling sailor
When he's on a rollin' sea
When he's on a rollin', rollin,'
When he's on a rollin' sea.
When he's on a rollin', rollin,'
When he's on a rollin' sea.

Sailors they get all the money
Soldiers they get none but brass
How I love my pretty sailor
Soldiers they can kiss my---


Oh the wars will soon be over
Peace and plenty come again
E'ry lass will get a laddie
She won't have to sleep alone


How can I be blithe and merry
When my true love's far from me?
All those pretty little sailors
They've been pressed and taken to sea

{Chorus til finish}