The "Bab" Ballads/Joe Golightly

Joe Golightly  (1867) 
by W.S. Gilbert
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Or, the First Lord's Daughter.

A TAR, but poorly prized,
Long, shambling, and unsightly,
Thrashed, bullied, and despised,
Was wretched Joe Golightly.

He bore a workhouse brand,
No pa or ma had claimed him,
The Beadle found him, and
The Board of Guardians named him.

P'r'aps some princess's son—
A beggar p'r'aps his mother!
He rather thought the one,
I rather think the other.

He liked his ship at sea,
He loved the salt sea-water;
He worshipped junk, and he
Adored the First Lord's daughter.

The First Lord's daughter proud,
Snubbed earls and viscounts nightly—
She sneered at barts aloud,
And spurned poor Joe Golightly.

Whene'er he sailed afar
Upon a Channel cruise, he
Unpacked his light guitar
And sang this ballad (Boosey).


The moon is on the sea,
The wind blows towards the lee,
But though I sigh and sob and cry,
No Lady Jane for me,

She says, “'Twere folly quite,
For me to wed a wight,
Whose lot is cast before the mast;”
And possibly she's right,

His Skipper (Captain Joyce)
He gave him many a rating,
And almost lost his voice
From thus expostulating:

"Lay out, you lubber, do!
What's come to that young man, Joe?
Belay!—'vast heaving! you!
Do kindly stop that banjo!"

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"I wish, I do—oh, lor!
You'd shipped aboard a trader:
Are you a sailor, or
A negro serenader?"

But still the stricken cad,
Aloft or on his pillow,
Howled forth in accents sad
His aggravating "Willow!"

Stern love of duty had
Been Joyce's chiefest beauty—
Says he, "I love that lad,
But duty, damme! duty!"

"Twelve years blackhole, I say,
Where daylight never flashes;
And always twice a day
Five hundred thousand lashes!"
But Joseph had a mate,
A sailor stout and lusty,
A man of low estate,
But singularly trusty.

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Says he, "Cheer hup, young Joe!
I'll tell you what I'm arter,
To that Fust Lord I'll go
And ax him for his darter.

"To that Fust Lord I'll go
And say you love her dearly."
And Joe said (weeping low),
"I wish you would, sincerely!"

That sailor to that Lord
Went, soon as he had landed,
And of his own accord
An interview demanded.

Says he, with seaman's roll,
"My Captain (wot's a Tartar),
Guv Joe twelve years' black hole,
For lovering your darter.

"He loves Miss Lady Jane
(I own she is his betters),
But if you'll jine them twain,
They'll free him from his fetters.

"And if so be as how
You'll let her come a-board ship,
I'll take her with me now,"—
"Get out!" remarked his Lordship.

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That honest tar repaired
To Joe, upon the billow,
And told him how he'd fared:
Joe only whispered, "Willow!"

And for that dreadful crime
(Young sailors learn to shun it)
He's working out his time:
In ten years he'll have done it.