> Danny Spooner > Songs > Roll the Old Chariot Along

Roll the Old Chariot Along / A Drop of Nelson's Blood

[ Roud 3632 ; Ballad Index Doe049 ; trad.]

Mary Benson sang Roll the Old Chariot at the Seattle Chantey Festival during the American Sail Training Association's 1978 Tall Ships Pacific. It was released in the following year on the Folkways album Sea Songs Seattle.

Jim Mageean and Johnny Collins sang Roll the Old Chariot live at the festival for traditional Dutch sailing barges that takes place in Workum, Friesland. It was released in 1983 on the Greenwich Village festival album, Strontrace!.

Stan Hugill and Stormalong John sang Roll the Old Chariot at “FĂȘtes du chant de marin”, Paimpol 1991. This was included in the following year on their Le Chasse-MarĂ©e CD Chants des Marins Anglais.

Both Ricky Jay & Richard Greene and Jarvis Cocker sang A Drop of Nelson's Blood on Hal Willner's anthology of Pirate ballads, sea songs and chanteys, Rogue's Gallery.

Danny Spooner and chorus sang Roll the Old Chariot Along in 2009 on his album Bold Reilly Gone Away. He noted:

Roll the Old Chariot Along may well have started life as a Negro gospel song, though Stan Hugill cites Doerflinger as saying it is based on a Salvation Army revivalist hymn. Whatever its origins, it would have been used to brace the yards. The last two verses here Bob and I added. Charlie Brown's was a blood house outside of the West India Docks where you could get everything from a drink to a delicate condition which would be hard to explain away.

Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends sang A Drop of Nelson's Blood at the Cambridge Folk Festival in July 2011. This was included in the following year on the DVD Cambridge Folk Festival 2011:

Lyrics

Danny Spooner sings Roll the Old Chariot Along

Oh a drop of Nelson's blood wouldn't do us any harm,
Oh a drop of Nelson's blood wouldn't do us any harm,
Oh a drop of Nelson's blood wouldn't do us any harm,
And we'll all hang on behind.

Chorus (after each verse):
And we will roll the old chariot along,
We'll roll the old chariot along,
We'll roll the old chariot along,
And we'll all hang on behind.

Oh a nice fat cook wouldn't do us any harm.

Oh a pot of Irish stew wouldn't do us any harm.

Oh a roll in the clover wouldn't do us any harm.

Oh a night in Charlie Brown's wouldn't do us any harm.

Oh a night in Charlie Brown's might make you stiff and sore.

Oh a few nights in the cot wouldn't do us any harm.