Peter Street

It might seem, from the number of such songs on this record, that sailors ashore were in constant danger of losing all their clothes, as well as the rest of their possessions. This probably was the case if the proliferation of songs on the subject is any indication, they certainly enjoyed singing about such indignities. This particular song is of the "Shirt and Apron" family, and tells essentially the same story as 'New York Girls'. Hugill prints a text entitled 'Jack-all-Alone' but gives no tune. This set comes to us from the singing of Enoch Kent, now living in Toronto, though Tony has changed the words slightly to pot the song in a Liverpool context.


Oh now people, pay attention, and listen to my song,
It isn't my intention to detain you very long,
I came home from sea the other night, and a lassie I chanced to meet,
She invited me to dance with her, down on Peter Street.

Oh I said: My pretty fair maid, I do not dance too well,
And I am bound for Wigan town, where my parents they do dwell,
I have been at sea for 7 long years, and I've saved up 50 pounds,
And my parents are expecting me tonight, in Wigan town.

Oh sir, if you were to go with me, you would surely have a treat,
We would have a glass of brandy, and something nice to eat,
And at 6 o'clock in the evening, I would convey you to the train,
And you'd be sure to call on me when you're in town again.

Well, this lassie was persuasive, and so nice to old Jack tar,
So I agreed to go with her, and so we hired a car,
And the neighbors, they all stopped and stared, and I heard one of them say:
Bejasus! He'll need the jaunting car before he gets away.

Well now, when we got inside the house, oh then the whisky was brought in,
And when every man had had his fill, the dance it did begin,
And my love and I, we danced a reel to a good old-fashioned tune,
And I did a couple of double-shuffles all around the room.

When the dancing it was over, boys, then for bed we did prepare,
And when I awoke next morning, the truth I will declare,
My gold pocket-watch, and 50 pounds, and my lady-friend had fled,
And left me there Jack, all alone, stark naked on the bed.

Well, I looked all around me, but nothing could I spy,
But a lady's shift and apron, a-hanging up to dry,
I tore my hair and I cursed the drink, Oh Lord! What will I do?
The Lord forgive me! Wigan town, will I ever again see you?

When the daylight was departing, and night was drawing near,
I put on the shift and apron, and I walked down to the pier,
And as I crept on board the ship, I heard one sailor say:
Bejasus! Old Jack has got the ducks before he got away.

Oh, is that the new spring fashion, Jack, that you have brought from shore?
Where is the shop you bought it, boy, oh have they any more?
The last time that I spoke to you, you said you were homeward bound,
Christ, you might have got a better suit than that for 50 pounds!

Well, I might have got a better suit, if I had had a chance,
But I met a pretty fair maid who invited me to dance,
And I danced my own destruction with that lassie that was so neat,
So no more will I go dancing, boys, down on Peter Street.


© Golden Hind Music