From the album Walking With Wainwright

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English Folk-Heritage
This song is an English sailors’ song from circa 1800 that found its way to New Zealand, where I first heard it. However, in the NZ version the tune and lyrics have been substantially changed and localised. This is the original English version that I picked up from a Bellowhead recording and arranged for guitar. Both versions still arouse echoes of the South Pacific and images of hard life that was an English sailors' lot.

Lyrics

English Folk-Heritage

I’ve sailed the whole world over across the seven seas
I courted my sweetheart beneath the Kauri trees
I travelled with the north wind up to the Behring Strait
Around the horn and home again; for that is the sailor’s fate.

Across the barren wasteland of the frozen Arctic sea
Through Polynesian breezes and southern storms sailed we
The wind all in the rigging sings a lonely lullaby
A sailor I have always been and a sailor I will die.

Across the line, the Gulf Stream
Working your life away
Around the horn and home again
For that is the sailor’s way

We sailed up to the northward; we sailed up to the east
We reefed our sail in the strongest gale and stood in the calmest seas
Ocean bound by Dusky Sound and Pegasus through the strait
Port Cooper, ocean, Tom Kane Bay; for that is the sailor’s fate

Across the line, the Gulf Stream
Working your life away
Around the horn and home again
Across the line, the Gulf Stream
Working your life away
Around the horn and home again
For that is the sailor’s way

© PhilDrane Music 2016