Ten Thousand Miles Away

Words: Joseph Bryan Geoghegan
Music: the London Sea Shanty Collective

A popular and widely parodied music-hall song that was taken up as a sea shanty – perhaps it caught the ear of sailors on shore leave at Wilton’s or one of the other East End music halls. We’ve set it to a new melody and tweaked the lyrics.

It’s all of a brave and a gallant ship with a fair and fav’rin breeze
A bully good crew and a captain too to carry me over the seas
For to carry me over the seas, me lads, to me true love far away
I’m takin’ a trip on a government ship 10,000 miles away

Blow me winds and blow and a-rovin’ I will go
I’ll sail no more round this old shore till I hear that fiddleman play
I’m off on the morning train and I won’t be back again
I’m takin’ a trip on a government ship 10,000 miles away

My true love she was beautiful, my true love she was young
She had diamonds in her eyes my boys and silvery was her tongue
Yes, silvery was her tongue, me boys, as the big ship left the bay
She said: “Will you remember me 10,000 miles away?”

Well dark and dismal was the day when I last saw me Meg
She had a government band around each hand and another one around her leg
And another one around her leg, me boys, as the big ship left the bay
I swore that I’d be true to her 10,000 miles away

Oh if I were a boson bold or maybe a bombardier
I’d hire me a boat and away I’d float and straight to my true love steer
Oh straight to me true love steer me boys, where the dancing dolphins play
Where the whales and sharks are havin’ their larks 10,000 miles away

The sun could shine through a London fog or the Thames could run bright clear
Or the ocean brine turn into wine or I’d forget me beer
No I’d never forget me beer me boys while I still got means to pay
And I won’t forget my own true love 10,000 miles away