Towrope Girls

Words: C. Fox-Smith. Music: Traditional.
(Recorded by Tom Lewis on 360 All Points of the Compass)

There's a ship in the Tropics a'foaming along,
With every stitch drawing, the Trade blowing strong,
The white caps around her, all breaking in spray,
For the girls have got hold of her tow-rope today,

Chorus:
An' it's: Haul away girls, steady and true,
Polly and Dolly and Sally and Sue,
Mothers and sisters, sweethearts and all,
Haul away, all the way, haul away, haul.

She's logging sixteen as she speeds from the South,
A wind in her royals, a bone in her mouth,
With a wake like a millrace she speeds on her way,
For the girls have got hold of her tow-rope today.

Of cargoes and charters she's had her full share,
Of grain and of lumber, enough and to spare,
Of nitrates at Taltal and rice for Bombay.
And the girls have got hold of out tow-rope today.

The Old Man he stood on the poop at high-noon,
He paced fore-and-aft and he whistled a tune,
Then he put by his sextant and this he did say:
"The girls have got hold of our tow-rope today."

She has dipped her yards under, hove-to off The Horn,
In the fog and the floes she has drifted forlorn,
Becalmed in The Doldrums a week long she lay,
But the girls have got hold of her tow-rope today.

Hear the good Trade Wind a-singing aloud,
A "homeward bound" shanty in sheet and in shroud,
Hear how he whistles in halliard and stay,
"The girls have got hold of our tow-rope today."

Then it's: "Ho!"; for the chops of The Channel, at last,
The cheer that goes up when the tug-hawser's passed,
The Mate's: "That'll do!"; and fourteen month's pay,
For the girls will get hold of our tow-ropes today!!!

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