Words & Music by Tom Lewis
Performed with the kind permission of Tom Lewis.
Lord Nelson knew the perfect way to cure your ‘mal-de-mer’,
So if you pay attention, his secret I will share,
To any sea-sick sailor he’d give this advice for free:
“If you’re feeling sea-sick, sit underneath a tree!”
I’m marching inland from the shore, over m’ shoulder I’m carrying an oar,
When someone asks me: “What – is that funny thing you’ve got?”
Then I know I’ll never go to sea no more, no more,
Then I know I’ll never go to sea no more!
Columbus he set-sail to find out if the world was round,
He kept on sailing to the West until he ran aground,
He thought he’d found The Indies but he’d found the U.S.A.,(1)
I know some navigators who can still do that today. (Chorus)
Drake he’s in his hammock and a thousand miles away, (2)
Grenville’s Revenge is at the bottom of the bay,
Many’s the famous sailor never came home from the sea,
Just take my advice, Jack, come and follow me. (Chorus)
Sailors take a warning from these men of high renown,
When you leave the ocean and it’s time to settle down,
Never cast your anchor less than ninety miles from shore,
There’d always be temptation to be off to sea once more. (Chorus)
Before we became friends with Tom Lewis we were fans of his music. Fellow Chicago-area musician Rob Middleton introduced Tom’s music (as well as a broad range of maritime music and sea shanties) to King Richard’s Faire in 1985 when he was assistant music director at the event. By 1997 several separate bands participating in the mid-day Gazebo Singers sessions were performing maritime songs, including a cover of Marching Inland by Lucas Morgan (Dawn Middleton).
“The philosophy underlying this song can be found in Homer’s Odyssey. In Britain, however, it is impossible to get 100 miles from the sea.” — Tom Lewis
(1) When we perform this song at an Elizabethan-themed event we change “U.S.A.” to “Amerikay” to minimize the anachronisms.
(2) Tom borrowed this line from “Drake’s Drum,” by Sir Henry Newbolt, (1862-1938)