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Randy Dandy-O!

[ Roud 4702 ; Ballad Index Hugi167 ; DT RANDDAND ; Mudcat 147952 ; trad.]

Songs of American Sailormen

The Young Tradition sang the shanty Randy Dandy-O! in 1967 on their nautical EP Chicken on a Raft. They also sang it at their concert at Oberlin College, Ohio, on 17 November 1968, of which a recording was released in 2013 on their Fledg’ling CD Oberlin 1968. The original album’s sleeve notes commented:

This is given in Hugill’s Shanties From the Seven Seas as a capstan shanty. It is one of the fine crop of “Roll and Go” shanties, and Hugill suggests that the final line of the chorus is disguised in meaning: “Timme Rollickin’ Randy Dandy-O!“ was hollered in a different fashion when this was a working song.

Jim Mageean and Johnny Collins sand Randy Dandy on their 1979 Sweet Folk and Country album Make the Rafters Roar and on their 1983 live in Workum, Friesland, album on the Greenwich Village label, Strontrace!. Johnny Collins with Dave Webber and Pete Watkinson also sang it on the 1996 album Shanties & Songs of the Sea.

Bob Fox and Stu Luckley sang the Young Tradition’s version of Rollicking Randy Dandy-O on their 1982 Black Crow LP Wish We Never Had Parted.

Stah Hugill and Stormalong John sang Randy Dandy O in 1991 at “Fêtes du chant de marin”, the bi-annual shanty festival in Paimpol in Brittany. This recording was included in the following year on their Le Chasse-Marée CD Chants des Marins Anglais.

The New Scorpion Band sang Rollicking Randy Dandy in 2004 on their CD Out on the Ocean. Tim Laycock noted:

Stan Hugill, in his book Shanties From the Seven Seas, describes this as a pumps and capstan song heard mainly aboard the old “Cape-Horners”. I learnt it from the Young Tradition.

Eddy O’Dwyer sang Rollicking Randy Dandy-O! on his 2012 CD Go and ’List for a Sailor.


The Young Tradition sing Randy Dandy-O!

Now we are ready to head for the Horn
    Way hey, roll and go!
Our boots and our clothes, boys, are all in the pawn
    Timme rollickin’ randy dandy-o!

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Heave a pawl, o heave away
Way hey, roll and go!
The anchor’s on board and the cable’s all stored
Timme rollickin’ randy dandy-o!

Man the stout capst’n and heave with a will
But soon we’ll be driving her ’way down the hill

Heave away, bullies, you parish-rigged bums
Take your hands from your pockets and don’t suck your thumbs

Roust ’er up, bullies, the wind’s drawing free
Let’s get the gladrags on and drive ’er to sea

We’re outward bound for Vallipo Bay
Get crackin’ my lads, it’s a hell of a way.