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Rounding the Horn / Thornehagh​-​Moor Woods

by Blue-John Benjamin

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Rounding the Horn [traditional, adapted] Oh, the Whitby ‘Cat’, Endeavour, she lay in Plymouth Sound— Blue Peter stood at the foremast head, for she was outward bound— waiting there for orders to send us far from home; our orders came for Rio and thence around Cape Horn. When we arrived in Rio, we prepared for heavy gales; we hoisted all our riggin’ boys, and bent on all new sails. From ship to ship, they cheered us as we did sail along, and wished us pleasant weather in the rounding of Cape Horn. While beating off Magellan Straits, it blew exceeding hard; while shortening sails, two gallant tars fell from the topsail yard. By angry seas, the ropes we threw from their poor hands was torn; we were forced to leave them to the sharks that prowl around Cape Horn. When we got around the horn, my boys, we had some glorious days, and very soon, our killick dropped in Valparaiso Bay. The pretty girls come down in flocks; I solemnly declare: they’re the equals of the Whitby girls, with their long and curling hair. For they love a jolly sailor boy when he spends his money free; they’ll laugh and sing and merry, merry be, and have a jovial spree. When your money it is all gone, they won’t on you impose; they are not like the Whitby girls, who’ll steal and pawn your clothes. Farewell to Valparaiso—farewell, then, for a while to yonder green mountains, to yonder green isle. If ever I live to be paid off, I’ll sit and sing this song; God bless the pretty Spanish girls we left around Cape Horn.
Thornehagh-Moor Woods [traditional, adapted] I with my dogs went out one night— the moon shone clear, and the stars gave light— o’er hedges and ditches, gates and rails, with a couple of lurchers close at my heels, to catch a fine buck down in Thornehagh-Moor Fields. A poacher’s life is the life for me; a poacher I will always be. That very first night, we had bad luck: one of my very best dogs got shot. He come to me all bloody and lame; right sorry I was for to see the same, him not being able to follow the game. A poacher’s life is the life for me; a poacher I will always be. I searched his wounds, and found them slight, done by a gamekeeper out of spite. I will take a stick right tight in my hand, and range the woods till I find that man; I will tan his old hide right well if I can. A poacher’s life is the life for me; a poacher I will always be.


Track one:
Sound-engineered by Rich Whitworth and Mark Poole of Lincoln;
Mixed and mastered by Jon Fleming.

Track two:
Sanctuary-seeking, early one misty morning, in Old St Stephen's, o'erlooking Robin Hood's Bay;
Melodeon by Tim Crusher;
Sound-engineered by Tim Crusher and Mark Goodall;
Mixed and mastered by Jon Fleming.


released May 1, 2015


all rights reserved



Blue-John Benjamin Whitby, UK

"We put the boot in - flew the freak-flag;
We stood resolute like Morrissey’s quiff."

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