Reuben Ranzo

Words: traditional
Music: traditional arr. the London Sea Shanty Collective

A halyard shanty thought to have come from whaling ships, where it may also have been used while hauling the heavy strips of blubber to the try-pots to be boiled into oil.

Oh, poor old Reuben Ranzo,
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo,
Oh, poor old Reuben Ranzo
Ranzo, boys, Ranzo.

Oh, Ranzo was no sailor,
So he shipped aboard a whaler.

Oh, Ranzo was no beauty,
And he couldn’t do his duty.

He washed once in a fortnight,
He said it was his birthright.

Because he was so dirty,
They gave him five-and-thirty.

Aye, the skipper gave him thirty,
But his daughter begged for mercy

She took him to her cabin,
To try and ease his achin’.

She gave him bread and water,
And a bit more than she oughta.

She gave him education,
And she taught him navigation,

She made him the best sailor,
Aboard a Yankee whaler.

Oh, poor old Reuben Ranzo,
Oh, poor old Reuben Ranzo.