Get Up Jack, John Sit Down

Maritime-themed Song

Ed Harrigan and David Braham

Ships may come and ships may go
As long as the sea does roll.
Each sailor lad just like his dad,
He loves the flowing bowl.
A trip ashore he does adore
With a girl that’s plump and round.

When your money’s all gone
It’s the same old song,
“Get up Jack! John, sit down!”
Come along, come along,
You jolly brave boys,
There’s lots of grog in the jar.
We’ll plough the briny ocean
With the jolly roving tar.

When Jack gets in, it’s then he’ll steer
For some old boarding house.
They’ll welcome him with run and gin,
They’ll feed him on pork scouse.
He’ll lend and spend and not offend
Till he lies drunk on the ground (Chorus)

He then will sail aboard some ship
For India or Japan
In Asia there, the ladies fair
All love the sailor man.
He’ll go ashore and on a tear
He’ll buy some girl a gown. (Chorus)

When Jack gets old and weather-beat,
Too old to roam about,
In some rum shop, they’ll let him stop
Till eight bells calls him out.
He’ll raise his eyes up to the skies,
Sayin’ “Boys, we’re homeward bound.” (Chorus)

Song Notes

There are many fine versions of this song that have been recorded. It has a very fun chorus for which every group has a slightly different treatment.

A tip of the hat to John Roberts and Tony Barrand whose liner notes for their Across the Western Ocean CD provided the origin information for this song:  It was written by Ed Harrigan and David Braham for an 1885 New York theatre production, “Old Lavender.”

Scouse is a traditional Liverpool dish, like a potato stew with various kinds of available meats.