“Paddy, Get Back”

Alternate titles: “Mainsail Haul”; “The Liverpool Song”; “Valparaiso Round the Horn”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1898
Keywords: shanty poverty sailor abuse
Found in: US(MA) Canada(Mar) Britain(England(Lond))


Shanty, with long chorus, "Paddy, get back, Take in the slack, Heave away your capstan," etc. The song details how the poor boy has to go to sea to earn money, then suffers at the hands of weather, mate, and a long voyage

Cross references



  1. Doerflinger, pp. 54-55, "Paddy, Get Back" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Colcord, pp. 121-122, "Paddy Get Back" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Hugill, pp. 321-327, "Paddy Lay Back" (3 texts, 3 tunes with variants) [AbEd, pp. 241-244]
  4. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 68-70, "Paddy Get Back" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Smith/Hatt, pp. 42-43, "Lay Out, Tack Sheets and Haul" (1 text)
  7. Roud #653
  8. BI, Doe054