Traditional - As sung by Dustin Laurence on 6/01/01, based on the version in Songs of the Sailor
Aft on the poop deck, and walkin' all about,
There's the second mate, so steady and so stout.
What he's a-thinkin', he knows not himself,
We're wishin' he would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.
Strike the bell, second mate, let us go below,
Look you well to windward you can see it's going to blow!
Look at the glass, you can see that it has fell,
And we're wishin' you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell!
Down on the main deck, workin' at the pumps,
There's the larboard watch, just a-longin' for their bunks.
Lookin' off to windward, they see a great swell,
They're wishin' that the second mate would strike, strike the bell.
Aft at the wheel, poor Andersen stands,
Clutchin' at the spokes with his cold, mittened hands.
Lookin' at the compass head the course is true and well,
He's wishin' that the second mate would strike, strike the bell.
For'ard at the fo'cs'le head, keepin' sharp lookout,
There's Johnny standin', a-ready for to shout,
The lights are burnin' bright, sir, everything is well,
We're wishin' that the second mate would strike, strike the bell.
Aft on the quarterdeck, our gallant captain stands,
Lookin' at the sea with a spyglass in his hand.
What he's a-thinkin', we all know very well,
He's thinkin' more of short'nin' sail than--strike the bell.