Hempin’ Jig

Music and lyrics by Craig Nybo

We know’d him since he were a pup.
We saw him borned a babe; we saw him grow up.
We learned him sailing and the sea.
We know’d his future then; we know’d what he’d be.

We gave him shillings as a lad.
He bought a mermaid; first tattoo he ever had.
He cabined with a gunning crew.
The finest powder boy; the best we ever knew.

He lived in the dregs of the London downs.
In a cardboard box, that’s where he was found.
He was an orphan; he found favor in our hearts.
And so we showed him his way to a better life.

Now its–

(Chorus)
Slow to the gallows
He has many steps ahead.
All hands on deck; a man’s being sent,
To dance the hempen jig.
Slow to the gallows.
He has many steps ahead.
All hands on deck; a man’s being sent,
To dance the hempen jig.

His tale’s a tragedy to tell.
He was a good boy then; behaved so very well.
We cast off from a lapping sound.
He brought a boy aboard; a mate that he had found.

Well every shipmate holds a job.
Some scrape the holy stone; some are meant to swab.
The new whelp brought on by our boy,
He never came above; hid beneath the floor.

Now there are rules to the waters.
There’re rules to the sea.
The pirates code is solumn in decree.
Ya’r marooned for keeping tight lips.
And if ya’r temper slips.
Ya’ll suffer Moses’ Law for striking me.

But one rule is prodigious.
One rule absolute.
One rule is the ruler over all.
If a man will sneak a woman
On a ship dressed as a mate.
He’ll dance the hempen jig from the main yard.

(Chorus x 4)

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