Haul on the Bowlin'

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Title - Haul on the Bowlin'
Contributors - Ewan MacColl
Reporters - Unknown (adult, gender unknown)

Summary - A short-drag sea shanty:

Haul on the bowlin', me bully, ship's a-rollin'.

[Refrain:] Haul on the bowlin', the bowlin' haul.

Haul on the bowlin', Katie is me darlin'.


Haul on the bowlin', Katie lives in Liverpool.


Haul on the bowlin', it's a far-cry to pay day.


Ewan MacColl learned the song from a recording of Hector Gunn, a Highlander who worked most of his life in Newcastle; he was recorded by Joan Littlewood in 1942 when he was 84.

Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:01:17
Date Recorded - 1953.10
Language - English
Genre - Song, Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 61811
Original Tape ID - SA1953.242
Original Track ID - SA1953.242.A2
Audio Quality - Good
Audio Format - R2R

Classification - GD1; R652;

Recording Location:
  County - Midlothian
  Parish - Edinburgh
  Village - Edinburgh

Item Notes - 4 verses consisting of 2 lines, the second of which is a refrain.
Rev. James Duncan (Greig-Duncan, p. 497) notes that this song was "used for hauling the foresheet or bowline, the haul being at the last word". W. M. Doerflinger ('Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman', 1972, pp. 9-10) observes that the term 'bowline' has been out of use for a few centuries, suggesting that this song is at least that old.
See also:
Greig-Duncan vol. 1, p. 3, no. 1

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