Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor

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"Jack Was Every Inch A Sailor" is a traditional Newfoundland and Labrador folk song. It is a comical retelling of the Jonah tale, with a Newfoundland whaler as protagonist, but in this instance the whale gets his comeuppance.

It may have been adapted from a New York music-hall song "Every Inch a Sailor", which itself was a burlesque of "HMS Pinafore".

This song was covered by Canadian children's singing group Sharon, Lois and Bram on The Elephant Show.

Lyrics[edit]

'Twas twenty-five or thirty years since Jack first saw the light,
He came into this world of woe one dark and stormy night;
He was born on board his father's ship as she was lying to,
'Bout twenty-five or thirty miles southeast of Baccalieu.

CHORUS:
Oh, Jack was every inch a sailor,
Five and twenty years a whaler;
Jack was every inch a sailor,
He was born upon the bright blue sea.

When Jack grew up to be a man he went to the Labrador,
He fished in Indian Harbour where his father fished before;
On his returning in the fog he met a heavy gale,
And Jack was swept into the sea and swallowed by a whale.

CHORUS

Oh, the whale went straight for Baffin Bay, 'bout ninety knots an hour,
And every time he'd blow a spray he'd send it in a shower;
Oh, now, says Jack unto himself, I must see what he's about,
He caught the whale all by the tail and turned him inside out.

CHORUS

See also[edit]