Judy Cook, Folksinger

Shift and Apron

As Sung By Judy Cook

O now sailors pay attention and listen to my song
I'll tell you a trick was played on me. I won't detain you long.
The other day I came from sea, a fair one I did meet;
She kindly asked me to a dance; 'twas up on Peter Street.

I said, "My pretty fair maid, I do not dance too well,
And I am bound for Wigan town where my parents they do dwell.
I've been at sea for seven long years, and I've saved fifty pounds.
My parents are expecting me tonight in Wigan town.

O sir, if you would go with me, 'twould surely be a treat
We'd have a glass of brandy, and something nice to eat
And later on this evening, I'd see you to the train
And you'd be sure to call on me when you're in town again.

Well now, when we got inside the house, the liquor was brought in
And when every man had had his fill, the dance it did begin.
My love and I we danced a reel to a good old-fashioned tune,
And I did a couple of double shuffles all around the room

When the dancing it was over boys, for bed we did prepare
When I awoke next morning, the truth I will declare
My pocket watch, my fifty pounds and lady friend had fled
And there was I, Jack all alone, stark naked on the bed.

Well, I looked all around me, but nothing could I spy
But a woman's shift and apron a-hanging up to dry
I tore my hair, I cursed the drink, "O Lord what will I do!
Fare you well, sweet Wigan town, I'll never again see you!"

When daylight was departing, and night was drawing near,
I put on the shift and apron, and hurried to the pier;
And as I crept on board the ship, I heard one sailor say,
"Look! Poor old Jack he's lost his cap before he got away."

"O Is that the new spring fashion, Jack, that you have brought from shore?
Where is the shop you bought it boy? Oh have they any more?
The last time that I spoke with you, you said you were homeward bound.
You might have bought a better suit than that for fifty pound."