Sally Brown

This capstan shanty is also known as Roll 'n' Go. There were several obscene verses in some versions. The shanty is probably from Jamaica where it was often sung ashore. It was also used by American lumbermen and in the West Indies as an 'axe-cutting' song. According to Stan Hugill, the earliest reference to the shanty is in a description of a passage to America in the 1830s.

 Sally Brown


I shipped on board of a Liverpool liner,

Way, hey, roll and go!

And we rolled all night and we rolled all day

Gonna spend my money on Sally Brown


Now Sally Brown is a fine young lady 

Sally won my heart completely 

Seven long years I courted Sally 

But her mother didn’t like no tarry sailor 

Now she’s married to a one-legged captain 

Sally Brown I’m bound to leave you 

I shipped on board of a Liverpool liner