Sling the Flowing Bowl
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
This broadside was a favorite with sailors. It is said to have been written by Sheridan.*

Rev. S. Baring-Gould collected several versions of the song. It was printed on numerous broadsides, including one by Harding between 1846 and 1854. Several of these broadsides can be found at the Bodleian Library.

According to Gale Huntington, the song was documented on the whaling ships Chile (1839) and Cortez (1847). While the words are similar in those versions, the melody is not the same. Old England is variously New England (in American versions), Columbia and Britannia.

The flowing bowl referred to by sailors was rum or grog.

Come, come, my jolly lads, the wind's abaft,
Brisk gales our sails shall crowd;
Then bustle, bustle, boys, haul the boat,
The boatswain pipes aloud.
All hands on board, our ship's unmoored,
The rising gale fills ev'ry sail,
Our ship's well manned and stored.
Then sling the flowing bowl..
Then sling the flowing bowl...
Fond hopes arise, the girls we prize
Shall bless each jovial soul;
Then the can, boys, bring,
We'll drink and sing,
While the foaming billows roll.


Now, to the Spanish coast we're bound to steer.
To see our rights maintained;
The bear a hand, be steady, boys,
Soon we shall see
Old England once again.
From shore to shore
Loud cannons roar,
Our tars shall show the haughty foe
Britannia rules the main.
Then sling the flowing bowl..
Then sling the flowing bowl...
Fond hopes arise, the girls we prize
Shall bless each jovial soul;
Then the can, boys, bring,
We'll drink and sing,
While the foaming billows roll.


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