Paddy Doyle's Boots
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

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Lyrics
According to Hugill this chanty was very popular in the days of sail. It was also known as Paddy Doyle. The chanty was used specifically for "tossing the bunt," or furling the sail. Two or three verses were usually enough for the job.

Sailors often stayed with boarding masters, who ran houses in every large seaport. They furnished "indifferent board and lodging" and also arranged berths for sailors with outward bound ships. Boarding masters often took men in on credit, but usually found a ship before the sailor's advance was used up. The sailors could then use the balance of the advance they received from the ship for clothes and gear for the voyage. They then usually purchased a sea bag with dungarees, oilskins, sea boots, belt, sheath, knife and a pound of tobacco from the boarding master. The gear was low quality and boarding masters had a poor reputation. Sailors referRed to boarding masters and their henchmen as "crimps."

Hugill speculates that Paddy Doyle was a Liverpool boarding master. Doerflinger suggests Paddy Doyle was Irish.

Yes, aye, and we'll haul, aye,
To pay Paddy Doyle for his boots;
We'll tauten the bunt, and we'll furl, aye,
And pay Paddy Doyle for his boots.

Yeo, aye, and we'll sing, aye,
To pay Paddy Doyle for his boots;
We'll bunt up the sail with a fling, aye,
And pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!

Yeo, aye an we'll haul, aye,
To pay Paddy Doyle for his boots;
We'll skin the ol' rabbit an' haul, aye,
To pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!

Related Links
From Fifty Sailor's Songs or Chanties,
Shanties from the Seven Seas and
Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman
See Bibliography for full information.