Port Royal Rum - Info, Lyrics, Streaming Audio

Here's a new "old" song of the sea. It's the tale of a hardy young sailor who goes off whaling and acquires "the taste" for rum in the Jamaican harbor town Port Royal. It's a tragic song, as some sea songs are, for the lusty young man is now a derelict old wharf rat singing in a grungy port tavern (I've played a few places like that in my time!) for "scurvy sea scum" and begging for a swallow of... Port Royal rum!

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Original Song Lyrics

Port Royal Rum song artAt Port Royal town, first time arrived I
As crew to the English whale ship “Garmarye”
I first tasted rum in the port taverns there
And the Port Royal wenches were buxom and fair
The Port Royal wenches were buxom and fair

Oh life in Port Royal did appeal to me
I hated like hell to go back off to sea
The Port Royal rum called to me from afar
As I swabbed the deck, and hoisted the spar
As he swabbed the deck, and hoisted the spar

In Port Royal there lived a wench named Sweet Anne
Who knew all there’s to know about pleasin’ a man
I’d call out here name, and to me she’d come
Bearing a tankard of Port Royal rum
She was bearing a tankard of Port Royal rum

After dreamin’ of Port Royal rum  in me bed
I’d stand me watch, atop the masthead
Conning the waves for the sperm whales’ spout
Shiverin' I’d sneak me little old rum-flask out
Shiverin' he’d sneak his little rum-flask out

Oh the Devil’s in the bottle, Hell is in the cask
But I couldn’t see no harm in just nippin’ at me flask
So I kept on a-nippin’ ‘til one day I was caught
And I learned then the dangers with which rum is fraught
He learned then the dangers with which rum is fraught

The first mate stripped me shirt off and lashed me to the rail
Then the bosun, he lashed me with the cat-o-nine tail
They splashed rum on me back and laughed as I cried
And I wished to the Lord then and there for to die
He wished to the Lord then and there for to die

For quite a long time I was cured of me thirst
I did me best, but the Devil did his worst
If I’d never set foot more on Port Royal’s pier
I’d not be this old wharf rat that ye see here
He’d not be the old wharf rat that we see here

Yes the drink and the Devil and the years done for me
‘Tis the wreck of a once hardy sailor ye see
Croakin' songs in this tavern
For scurvy sea scum
And beggin' for one swallow
Of Port Royal Rum


Martin D35 acoustic guitar
Samick mystery mandolin
Nechville Atlas banjo
Korg SP100 with various virtual instruments, including a nice melodeon plugin

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 Written, performed and produced by Robert Palomo. Copyright ©2014 - All rights reserved.