"Jack Oakum in the Suds" -- 18th c. Parody 'Drinking Song' on Anacreontic Melody




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Published on Jan 27, 2014

Parody drinking song on the same melody later used by Francis Scott Key for "The Star-Spangled Banner." This video is of the recording session for the recording project Poets & Patriots: A Tuneful History of "The Star-Spangled Banner" now available at http://www.starspangledmusic.org and through all regular online music stores. See http://starspangledmusic.org/poets-pa... for more information.

Jack Oakum in the Suds (n.d., late 18thc, British)

1. Ye lovers of grog now attend to my lay,
For strange is the news which to you I'll unfold,
Tis of an old seaman who dy'd t'other day,
Who'd long fought for England, with Rodney the bold;
Tis said, he did cry, if by fighting I die,
For preferment in shades I'll immediately try,
But in drinking success to his country so dear,
Poor Jack by chance ended his earthly career.

2. Jack Oakum being come to the regions below,
Spy'd Old Charon advancing to ferry him o'er,
He cry'd, bear a hand mate, now with you I'll go.
Save Charon, you ought to have been here before:
For I would be bound, were those regions search'd round,
That none near so wicked as you would be found,
The tar in a passion reply'd, you old dog,
I should not have come yet but I drank too much grog.

3. Old Charon look'd sternly, and thus he reply'd,
You must now he more civil since you are come here,
I judg'd at first sight you were drunk when you dy'd,
But you'll drink no more grog now you soul for to cheer,
And now, d'ye see, you must pay me my fee,
Or else you shall ne'er be row'd over by me;
Jack jumpt into the boat, and cry'd dam'me I'll go,
So the sculls took from Charon, and over did row.

4. The news to great Pluto directly was told,
Who, seiz'd with confusion at what he had heard, said,
This true British hero will ne'er be controul'd,
He'll contend for some privilege tho' he is dead;
Then since he's of worth, let him take Charon's berth,
His employment will be the same then as on earth,
And for more satisfaction, go tell the young dog,
That his fare shall be changed from silver to grog.


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