Roll Alabama Roll


h1 January 1st, 2018

Camilla and I will be sailing from Valparaíso, Chile to Buenos Aires this month. I thought an English halyard sea chantey from the 1860′s would be appropriate. I will be giving lectures on board the Silver Sea Muse. One of those lectures will be about sea chanteys.

Here’s a brief description of the trip from the Silver Sea website:

Voyage to the soaring mountain peaks, and slowly scraping glaciers, of Chile. See poetic Valparaiso sprawling bright colors, colonial architecture and history haphazardly across the hills, before sailing amid the finger-like mountains of the staggering Chilean Fjords. Tour the flicking tail of the continent’s southernmost tip, before dropping in on the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Lyrics:

[F] When the Alabama’s keel was [C] laid
[C] Roll, [Bb] Alabama, [C] roll!
[F] It was laid in the yards of Jonathan [C] Laird
[Bb] Oh, [F] roll, [C] Alabama, [F] roll!

It was laid in the yards of Jonathan Laird
Roll, Alabama, roll!
It was laid in the town of Birkenhead
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

Down Mersey way she sailed and then
Roll, Alabama, roll!
Liverpool fitted her with guns and men
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

Down Mersey way she sail-ed forth
Roll, Alabama, roll!
To destroy the commerce of the North
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

To Cherbourg harbor she sailed one day
Roll, Alabama, roll!
To collect her share of the prize money
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

And many a sailor saw his doom
Roll, Alabama, roll!
When the yankee Kearsarge hove in view
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

And a shot from the forward pivot that day
Roll, Alabama, roll!
Blew the Alabama’s stern away

And off the three-mile limit, in sixty-four
Roll, Alabama, roll!
Well she sank to the bottom of the ocean floor
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

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