September 18, 2008

Come all ye young (and not so young) sailors

My roommate when I lived in Anaheim in the early 80s also worked in the Park. He was an Attractions Host who had made Disneyland a career and had enough seniority to ensure a great rotation between the world-famous Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder, the Mark Twain, and the mighty Sailing Ship Columbia.

The Columbia was one of my favorite things about working at Disneyland. She didn’t cruise the Rivers of America everyday, spending much of her time tied up behind the immortal Keel Boats at the dock in Fowler’s Harbor. It was a serendipitous thing to get a day shift at the popcorn wagon near the Haunted Mansion, or an ice cream wagon on the path along the river, on a sunny afternoon when the Columbia was sailing.

I would hum along with her theme, which is called The Boston-Come-All-Ye . You can hear the great Thurl Ravenscroft sing the Disney version here. Here are the lyrics:

Come all ye young sailormen listen to me, I’ll sing you a song of the fish of the sea.
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

Oh, first came the whale, he’s the biggest of all, he clumb up aloft, and let every sail fall.
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

Next came the mackerel with his striped back, he hauled aft the sheets and boarded each tack.
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

The porpoise came next with his little snout, he grabbed the wheel, calling “Ready? About!”
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

Then came the smelt, the smallest of all, he jumped to the poop and sung out, “Topsail, haul!”
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

The herring came saying, “I’m king of the seas! If you want any wind, I’ll blow you a breeze.”
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

Up jumped the tuna saying, “No, I am the king! Just pull on the line, and let the bell ring.”
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

Next came the cod with his chucklehead, he went to the main-chains to heave to the lead.
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

Last come the flounder as flat as the ground, saying, Damn (at Disneyland, Thurl sings “blast”) your eyes, chucklehead, mind how you sound!
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow; we’re bound to the southward, so steady she goes.

Thanks to rumolay for the original photo, used under Creative Commons license.

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