It'll be the Death of Me by Pete Thompson My name it is John Thompson and a seafarer am I I started as a cabin boy when I was but knee-high And I reckon this will be my life until the day I die For it's water that will be the death of me Chorus Let the wind blow up and down From the River Hull to the whaling ground In the Black Boy I'll be found For I do love strong beer I've worked on every kind of ship from Billy Boy to Bark And I've sailed with lascars, packet-rats and many a chis'lling shark And if I hadn't dodged the press gangs that were waiting in the dark Those Frenchies would have been the death of me As first mate on a whaler I was there at Baffin Fair When we got drunk and Tommy Hunt got eaten by a bear And I tell you, I'll be buggered if ever I go back there For the whaling lark will be the death of me Now as master of a sloop I run from Hull to Sheffield town And the Dunn takes oil and leather up and coal and steel goods down But at either end I got so drunk it's a blessing I'm not drowned For this river trade will be the death of me One day I met a bonny lass while as I was docked in Thorne But I confess I'd had a few upon our wedding morn Now whenever I come home I swear another brat's been born And their hungry mouths will be the death of me Now the Dunn's tied up at Chapel Staith and I'm in t'Black Boy Inn Where I've spent a pleasant evening drinking George North's beer and gin But he says I shouldn't go outside for an easterly's blown in And those Humber gales will be the death of me But I reckon that I'd best be off before me legs give in So I step out into High Street in this filthy wind and rain And I know that it won't be too long before I'm back again Oh, that Black Boy beer will be the death of me! Yes, the Old Black Boy is holy ground For those that like strong beer The song was kindly provided by Pete Thompson from the folk duo Whipstaff. It’s about his great-great-great- great grandfather, John Thompson, an ex-whaler from Hull who ran a Humber sloop, The Dunn, between Hull and Sheffield. He met a watery end in 1834 when, after a heavy night’s drinking in The Black Boy Inn in Hull, he tried to return to his boat moored nearby during a gale and was blown into the Old Harbour and drowned. The next day his body was recovered and taken straight back to the pub.
As recorded by Whipstaff
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