North to Callao

Words & Music by Tom Lewis
(Recorded by Tom Lewis on Sea-Dog, See Dog!)

Come all ye bold seafaring men, a story I'll relate,
When I was a lad and times were bad in 1878,
Leaving m' home, the world to roam and wander westward ho,
I heard some sailors talking of a place called Callao.

T'was then I learned that Paradise was half a world away,
And there were fortunes to be made in South Americay,
Where girls made all your dreams come true, and rum like water flow,
Truth to relate, I couldn't wait to leave for Callao.

So, let fly all your canvas, roust-out the watch below,
Westward through Magellan's Strait, then North to Callao.

Now just by chance, en route from France, a ship was there that morn',
Long overdue for far Peru by way of dread Cape Horn,
Signing quick as thunder, bidding England: "Cheerio!";
I was blind to all the dangers on the way to Callao.

I quickly found that I'd been bound into a life of hell,
Stark fear was my companion high above the ocean swell,
The icy spray m' face would flay and pain I came to know,
Was just a price I had to pay to get to Callao.

With waves as tall as Beachy Head and white as Dover cliff,
The Old Man wouldn't take the time to sail around Cape Stiff,
He'd navigate us through the strait by Tierra del Fuego,
'Twix't Scylla and Charybdis as we steered for Callao.

All perils past, our anchor fast, I jumped ship in Peru,
I soon found out, without a doubt, the tales I'd heard were true,
M' life complete, with girls so sweet and me a 'Romeo',
Just half a league from Paradise, at home in Callao.

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