Can of Grog
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John Renfro Davis

Grog was a mixture of rum and water. It was served as a ration in the United States Navy until September 1, 1862, and in the Royal Navy until 1970.

Can of Grog was printed on broadsides, one of which appeared in Edinburgh Musical Miscellany (1792).* This version was sung on the whaling ship Ann in 1772.** It doubtless dates earlier.

For other songs about grog see The Contemplator's Short History of Grog.

When up the shrouds the sailor goes
And ventures on the yard
The landsman who no better know
Believe his lot is hard
Bold Jack with smiles each danger meets
Weighs anchor heaves the log
Trims all the sails belays his sheets
And drinks his can of grog

If to engage they give the word
To quarters he'll repair
Now winding in the dismal flood
Now quivering in the air
When waves 'gainst rocks to rend and roar
You'll n'er hear him repine
Though he's on Greenland's icy shore
Or burning beneath the line

When sailing orders to arrive
Bold Jack he takes his leave
My dear sweetest Pol he cries
I pray now do not grieve
Thy Jack will take his daily can
Of grog and drink to thee
In hopes that thou will n'er forget
Thy sailor who's at sea

But should thou false or fickle prove
To Jack who loves thee dear
No more upon my native shore
Can I with joy appear
But restless as the briny main
Must heartless heave the log
Shall trim the sails and try to drown
My sorrow in cans of grog

Related Links
From **Songs the Whaleman Sang
See Bibliography for full information.
Also from *Steve Roud's Broadside Ballad Index