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Re: Well, blow me down

Posted by ESC on April 23, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Well, blow me down posted by Henry on April 23, 2003

: : I'm curious to know the origin of the phrase "Well, blow me down" or just "Blow me down."

: It means knock me down. It's common in sea shanties and I think it means a physical blow rather than a gust of wind.

From the archives:

"'Blow the Man Down' originated in the Western Ocean sailing ships. The tune could have originated with German emigrants, but it is more likely derived from an African-American song 'Knock a Man Down.'" From http://www.contemplator.com/folk4/blowdown.html

BLOW THE MAN DOWN

Come all ye young fellows that follow the sea,
to my way haye, blow the man down,
And pray pay attention and listen to me,
Give me some time to blow the man down.

I'm a deep water sailor just in from Hong Kong,
to my way haye, blow the man down,
if you'll give me some grog, I'll sing you a song,
Give me some time to blow the man down.

'Twas on a Black Baller I first served my time,
to my way haye, blow the man down,
And on that Black Baller I wasted my prime,
Give me some time to blow the man down.

'Tis when a Black Baller's preparing for sea
to my way haye, blow the man down,
You'd split your sides laughing at the sites (sights?) that you see.
Give me some time to blow the man down.

With the tinkers and tailors and soljers and all
to my way haye, blow the man down,
That ship for prime seaman on board a Black Ball.
Give me some time to blow the man down.

'Tis when a Black Baller is clear of the land,
to my way haye, blow the man down,
Our Boatswain then gives us the word of command
Give me some time to blow the man down.

"Lay aft," is the cry,"to the break of the Poop!
to my way haye, blow the man down,
Or I'll help you along with the toe of my boot!"
Give me some time to blow the man down.

'Tis larboard and starboard on the deck you will sprawl,
to my way haye, blow the man down,
For "Kicking Jack" Williams commands the Black Ball.
Give me some time to blow the man down.

Pay attention to order, now you one and all,
to my way haye, blow the man down,
For right there above you flies the Black Ball.
Give me some time to blow the man down.