> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > Sally Racket
> Maddy Prior > Songs > Haul Her Away
> Bellowhead > Songs > Little Sally Racket

Sally Racket / Haul Her Away / Cheer'ly Men

[ Roud 395 ; Ballad Index FSWB086A ; trad.]

A.L. Lloyd sang the halyard shanty Sally Racket in 1957 on his and Ewan MacColl's album The Black Ball Line; this recording was later included on the compilation Sailors' Songs & Sea Shanties. A.L. Lloyd commented in the latter album's sleeve notes:

This tops'l halyard song was said to be so very British that it was “frowned upon aboard American ships.” Yet many versions have a firm Negro ring to the melody.

Ewan MacColl recorded this again in 1966 for his and A.L. Lloyd's album A Sailor's Garland. And Maddy Prior sang this shanty in 2002 as Haul Her Away on her album Bib & Tuck; this track was also included on her anthology Collections: A Very Best of 1995 to 2005.

The Young Tradition sang Haul 'Em Away on November 17, 1968 at their concert at Oberlin College, Ohio, that was published in 2013 on their Fledg'ling CD Oberlin 1968.

Danny Spooner sang Cheer'ly Men on his 2009 CD Bold Reilly Gone Away. He noted:

Cheer'ly Men was one of only two shanties allowed to be sung aboard Royal Navy vessels where it was used for ‘catting’ the anchor, that is, heaving the anchor up to the ‘catheads’ after it has been weighed (pulled up) in preparation for securing on the anchor bed (while at sea) or before letting it go.

Richard Henry Dana mentions this shanty in Two Years Before the Mast (1840) based on the ‘log’ that he kept while aboard the brig Pilgrim on a voyage round Cape Horn between 1834 and 1836. It was used for ‘catting’ the anchor, the order being “Cat and fish the anchor”, “let's have Cheer'ly Men”.

Bellowhead sang Little Sally Racket in 2010 on their CD Hedonism and their singer Jon Boden sang it unaccompanied as the May 24, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

A.L. Lloyd sings Sally Racket Maddy Prior sings Haul Her Away

Little Sally Racket
    Haul him away!
She pawned my best jacket
    Haul him away!
And she lost the ticket
    Haul him away!
And a hauley high-o!
    Haul him away!

Little Nancy Dawson
    Haul her away!
She's got red flannel drawers on
    Haul her away!
So says the old bosun
    Haul her away!
With a hauley high-o!
    Haul her away!

Little Kitty Carson
Got off with the parson
Now she's got a little barson
And a hauley high-o!

Little Betty Baker
She ran off with a Quaker
Guess her mum could shake her
With a hauley high-o!

Well, and little Nancy Dawson
Well she got a notion
For a poor old bosun
And a hauley high-o!

Little Suzie Skinner
She said she's a beginner
She prefers it to her dinner
With a hauley high-o!

Little Suzie Skinner
She said she's a beginner
And she prefers it to her dinner
Serve up, lads, and win her

Little Kitty Carson
She ran off with a parson
And she's got a little barson
With a hauley high-o!

Little Dolly Ducket
She washes in a bucket
She's a tart but doesn't look it
With a hauley high-o!

Little Sally Racket
She tore her new jacket
And she never did regret it
With a hauley high-o!

Little Nancy Dawson
She's got red flannel drawers on
So says the old bosun
And hey, she knows on

Well me fightin' cocks now
All and split her blocks now
And we'll stretch her luff, boys
And that'll be enough, boys

Up my fightin' cocks, boys
Up and split her blocks, boys
And we'll stretch her luff, boys
And that'll be enough, boys

Danny Spooner sings Cheer'ly Men

Oh Nancy Dawson high-o!
    Cheer'ly men
She's got no drawers on high-o!
    Cheer'ly men
Says our old bosun high-o!
    Cheer'ly men
    Oh hauley high-o!
    Cheer'ly men

Young Betsy Baker high-o!
Slept wiv a Quaker high-o!
She let 'im shake 'er high-o!

Young Katie Skinner high-o!
Says she's a beginner high-o!
Prefers it to a dinner I know!

Oh Sally Hacket high-o!
Works on the racket high-o!
Give me a packet high-o!

Oh Polly Hawkins high-o!
She's got white stockings high-o!
Yours for the asking high-o!

Oh Haughty Cocks high-o!
Oh split her blocks high-o!
And sweat her up high-o!