Old Moke Pickin’ On a Banjo

This was a capstain chantey used for raising the anchor. The mention of “railway” is influenced by men working on the railway then making their way on board ship. “Moke” was a term for a black person at that time. I got this song from Wickford Express.

banjo

 

He-bang, she-bang, daddy shot a bear
Shot ‘im in the stern, me boys, and never turned a hair.

We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo
Oh, the old moke pickin’ on the banjo.

cho: Hooraw! What the hell’s a row?
We’re all from the railroad, too-ra-loo
We’re all from the railroad, too-ra-loo
And the old moke pickin’ on the banjo!

Pat, get back, take in yer slack. Heave away, me boys;
Heave away, me bully boys, why don’t ye make some noise?
We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo &c.

Rock-a-block, chock-a-block, heave the caps’n round,
Fish the flamin’ anchor up, for we are outward bound.
We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo &c.

(Roll her, boys, bowl her, boys, give ‘er flamin’ gip,
Drag the anchor off the mud, an’ let the barstard rip!) [we forgot this verse]

Out chocks, two blocks, heave away or bust,
Bend yer backs, me bully boys, kick up some flamin’ dust.

Whisky-O, johnny-O, the mudhook is in sight,
‘Tis a hell-of-a-way to the gals that wait, an’ the ol’ Nantucket
Light;

 

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