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Paddy Doyle('s Boots)

[ Roud 4695 ; Ballad Index Doe010 ; trad.]

Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd sang the bunting shanty Paddy Doyle in about 1956 on their and Harry H. Corbett's album The Singing Sailor. This track has been reissued lots of times, e.g. on their albums Row Bullies Row, Singing Sailors (Wattle Records), Off to Sea Once More (Stinson Records), and on the compilation CD Sailors' Songs & Sea Shanties. Lloyd commented in the Off to Sea Once More sleeve notes:

This is one of the few shanties reserved for bunting the fore or mainsail. Men aloft, furling the sail, would bunch the canvas in their hands till it formed a long bundle, the ‘bunt’. To lift the bunt on to the yard, in order to lash it into position, required a strong heave. Bunt shanties differ from others in that they employed fewer voices, and were sung in chorus throughout. Paddy Doyle, the villain of this shanty, was a Liverpool boarding house keeper.

They also recorded it in 1957 for their Tradition Records album Blow Boys Blow where A.L. Lloyd commented:

Paddy Doyle was a Liverpool-Irish boarding master, sometimes confused with Paddy West (see Band 6, Side B on this record). The shanty is an unusual one in that it is generally sung by two men and not by a gang. It is a ‘bunt’ shanty, designed to accompany the operation of bunting up a sail. The men stand aloft on foot-ropes and, leaning over the yard, the grab the bunched-up sail and try to heave the ‘sausage’ of canvas on to the yard, preparatory to lashing it in a furled position. The big heave usually comes on the last word of the verse, sometimes being sung as ‘Pay Paddy Doyle his his hup!’ But if the canvas was wet and heavy, and several attempts were going to be needed before the sail was bunted, the song might be sung as here.

Peter Bellamy sang Paddy Doyle's Boots and Blood Red Roses in a 1964 private recording that was included in 1999 on his Free Reed anthology Wake the Vaulted Echoes. The Young Tradition also sang it on November 17, 1968 at their concert at Oberlin College, Ohio. It was published in 2013 on their Fledg'ling CD Oberlin 1968.

Lyrics

Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd sing Paddy Boyle

To me way ay, ay-ay, yah!
We'll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots.

To me way ay, ay-ay, yah!
We'll all drink whisky and gin.

To me way ay, ay-ay, yah!
We'll all shave under the chin.

Peter Bellamy sings Paddy Boyle's Boots

To me way ay, ay-ay,
We'll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots.

To me way ay, ay-ay,
And we will drink whisky and gin.

To me way ay, ay-ay,
And we will shave under the chin.

To me way ay, ay-ay,
And we will throw muck at the cook.

To me way ay, ay-ay,
For the crusty old man on the poop.

To me way ay, ay-ay,
We'll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Who was Paddy Doyle?.