Bully in the Alley
A halyard shanty of Caribbean origin which Hugill came across in the West Indies. Cecil Sharp also found a version in Watchet, Somerset. Much discussion about the meaning of the refrain: “Bob” may mean “God” as in “God help me” – “Bully” may mean “drunk” or “top dog”. There were places called Shinbone Alley in several ports – one still exists in Maine, USA.
Bully in The Ally
Sally is the girl down in our alley
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
Sally is the girl down in Shinbone Alley
Bully down in shinbone al!
So, help me, Bob, I'm bully in the alley,
Help me, Bob, I'm bully in the alley,
Bully down in Shinbone Al!
Well, Sally is the girl that I love dearly,
Sally is the girl that I spliced nearly.
For seven long years I courted Sally,
All she did was dilly-dally.
I left my Sal to go a-sailin,
I'll left my Sal to go a-whalin
I'll come back and I'll marry Sally,
We'll have kids and count them by the tally.