"The Oceana Roll" played by Frederick Hodges




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Published on Aug 29, 2007

This song from 1911 was composed by Lucien Denni, with lyrics by Roger Lewis.

Frederick does not sing the song here, but he plays it in a way where you could sing along, before changing key and really opening up.

So, here are the lyrics:

Billy McCoy
Was a musical boy
On the cruiser Alabama
He was there at that piana
Like a fish down in the sea
He would rattle off some harmony,
Ev'ry night out on the ocean
He would get that raggy notion
Start that syncopated motion lovingly,
No one could sleep
Way out there on the deep
When Billy cut loose out at sea.

Each fish and worm
Begins to twist and squirm
The ship goes in a dip
And does a corkscrew turn,
You see that smoke so black
Sneak from that old smokestack?
It's floatin' right to heaven
And it won't come back.
Now here and there
You'll see a stool and chair
A-slippin' round the cabin
Sayin' "I don't care!"
Then the hammock starts a-swingin'
And the bell begins a-ringin'
While he's sittin' at that piana
There on the Alabama
Playin' the Oceana Roll!

England or Spain
It was always the same
He'd be there at that piana
On the cruiser Alabama
Ev'ry morning, noon and night
He would keep it up with all his might,
Ev'ry time he'd start a-playin'
All the boys would start a-swayin'
Ev'ry one would keep on sayin' "Don't you stop!"
Sailors take care
Oh, sailors beware
For Bill will play on 'til you drop!

(Repeat Refrain)


Recorded Friday 10 August 2007 during the 9th annual Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival.



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