DOWNLOAD THE SONGSHEET
YOU CAN PLAY ALONG IN THE SAME KEY IN GCEA TUNING, IF YOU USE THE (F) SONGSHEET AND PUT YOUR CAPO ON THE FIRST FRET.
[ Roud 928 ; Ballad Index
Doe106 ; trad.]
Ewan MacColl sang Row, Bullies, Row in 1954/55 on one of the first Topic LPs, his and A.L. Lloyd's album The Singing Sailor. This track was reissued lots of times, in 1957 as the title track of their album Row Bullies Row, on their French Le Chante du Monde album Chants de Marins Anglais No 1, and on their Australian Wattle album Shanties & Fo'c'sle Songs, in 1958 on their American Stinson LP Haul on the Bowlin', and in 2004 on the Highpoint anthology Sailors' Songs & Sea Shanties. He recorded this song for a second time in 1957 on his and A.L. Lloyd's Tradition Records album Blow Boys Blow. A.L. Lloyd commented in the last album's sleeve notes:
The song of the Liverpool seaman who sailed to San Francisco with the intention of staying there, but who got himself shanghaied back to Merseyside again, was a favourite rousing forebitter, sometimes used at capstan work when the spokes were spinning easy. The sense of the refrain may not be clear to landsmen. When the ship was sailing along at a fast speed, the sailors would say: “The girls have got hold of the tow-rope today.”
****REVISED March 13, 2019 - SR****