> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > Bring 'Em Down
> The Young Tradition > Songs > Bring 'Em Down
> Louis Killen > Songs > Bring 'Em Down
> Steeleye Span > Songs > Bring 'Em Down

Bring 'Em Down

[trad.]

A.L. Lloyd sang the hauling shanty Bring 'Em Down on his and Ewan MacColl's 1962 album on the Prestige label, A Sailor's Garland. He commented in the album's sleeve notes:

Like Bold Riley O, this tune (a Dorian one) was brought to Liverpool from the West Indies where a variant of it had served as a challenging stick-fight song. Among the vessels that adopted the tune as a shanty for heavy hauling were those running up the coast of Chile. Oldtime sailors, who had a high regard for Valparaiso women, pronounced the name of the country to rhyme with “versatile”.

The Young Tradition recorded four sea shanties, Fire Maringo, Hanging Johnny, Bring 'em Down, and Haul on the Bowline, for their 1967 EP Chicken on a Raft. Royston Wood sang lead on the first and third shanty, Peter Bellamy on the second and fourth. Like all tracks from the EP, they were included in the compilation album The Young Tradition Sampler and CD Galleries / Chicken on a Raft / No Relation. They also sang Bring 'em Down on November 17, 1968 at their concert at Oberlin College, Ohio, that was published in 2013 on their Fledg'ling CD Oberlin 1968. Their EP sleeve notes comment:

Bring 'Em Down is a heavy hauling song. A.L. Lloyd says that it was brought to Liverpool from the West Indies, where a variant of it had been a stick-fight song.

Louis Killen sang Bring 'Em Down in 1970 on his South Street Seaport Museum album 50 South to 50 South, and in 1976 on the Collector album of songs and chanteys from the days of commercial sail, Steady As She Goes.

Steeleye Span sang this shanty and A Hundred Years Ago on March 27, 1971 on a “Top Gear” BBC radio session, and this and Haul on the Bowline on September 15, 1971 on the BBC radio programme “Peel's Sunday Concert”. Martin Carthy sang lead on this shanty. The former programme was included on the bonus CD of the 2006 CD reissue of Please to See the King, and the latter was included as bonus CD on the 2006 reissue of Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again.

Roy Harris sang Bring 'Em Down in 1974 on the Topic album Sea Shanties. This track was also included in 2004 on the compilation CD Sailors' Songs & Sea Shanties. Its sleeve notes commented:

Bring 'em Down—A heavy-haul one-pull shanty with a triple-stamp refrain. Some of the words refer to ports of Chile and Peru and the memorable girls thereof but that doesn't mean that this shanty was limited to the West Coast run.

Danny Spooner sang Bring 'Em Down on his 1988 album We'll Either Bend or Break 'Er.

Lyrics

The Young Tradition sing Bring 'Em DownSteeleye Span sing Bring 'Em Down

In Liverpool I was born,
    Bring 'em down
London is me home from home.
    Bring 'em down

In Liverpool I was born
    Bring 'em down
London is me home from home.
    Bring 'em down

And Rotherhite girls, they look so fine,
They're never a day behind their time.

Rotherhite girls, they look so fine,
They're never a day behind their time.

It's around Cape Horn we go,
All through the ice and snow.

Around Cape Horn we all must go,
Around Cape Horn in the frost and snow.

At the coast of Vallipo,
Northward to Callao.

And northward up to Vallipo,
And northward on to Callao.

Them Callao girls I do adore,
They take it all and ask for more.

Them Vallipo girls I do adore,
They take it all and they ask for more.

Vallipo girls they put out a show,
They waggles their arse with a roll and go!

And Vallipo girls put out a show,
They waggles their arse with a roll and go!

It's back to Liverpool,
I spend my pay like a bloody fool.

Them Liverpool girls I do admire,
They set your rig all a-fire.

I'm Liverpool born and bred,
Strong in the arm and thick in the head!

I'm Liverpool born and bred,
Strong in the arm and thick in the head!

Up come and roll me over, boys,
And get this damn job over, boys!

Ah, up come and roll me over, boys,
We'll get this damn job over, boys!

Danny Spooner sings Bring 'Em Down

In Liverpool I was born,
    Bring 'em down,
London is me home from home,
    Bring 'em down.

In Liverpool I was bred,
Strong in the back and thick in the head.

Calio gals I do love so,
Waggle their arse wiv a roll and go.

Liverpool gals I do adore,
Rob yer blind and ask fer more.

When I git home from off the sea,
It's Jinny will yer marry me.

Bring 'em down it is the cry,
The bloody topmast sheave is dry.

Rock and roll her over boys,
Git this damned job over boys.