Hog's Eye Man

Hugill says this is a shanty “usually spoken of in hushed tones by collectors …..though many other shanties were just as obscene, and even worse!” It was normally used at the capstan. Hog Eye Men, or Ditch Hogs, worked the great rivers and canals of North America. This is one of their songs that reached deep water.

Hog Eye Man
 
Oh, hand me down my riding cane
I'm off to meet my darling Jane

And a hog-eye
Railroad navvy with his hog-eye
Steady on the jig with a hog-eye
Oh, she wants the hog-eye man

Oh, the hog-eye man is the man for me
Sailing down from Wallslough sea

 
Oh, he come to the shack where Sally did dwell
He knocked on the door and he rung her bell

Oh, who's been here since I been gone?
Railroad navvy with his sea-boots on

 
If I catch him here with Sally once more
I'll sling my hook, go to sea once more

Oh, Sally's in the garden sifting sand
The hog-eye man sitting hand in hand

Oh, Sally's in the garden punching duff
Cheeks of her arse go chuff, chuff, chuff

Oh, I won't bear a hog-eye, damned if I do
Got chiggers in his feet and he can't wear shoes

Oh, the hog-eye man is the man for me
He is blind and he cannot see

Oh, a hog-eye ship and a hog-eye crew
Hog-eye mate and a skipper too