Polly On the Shore (Lester Simpson)

from by Debra Cowan

/

about

This song has always been a favorite of mine and I love the way that Polly takes her “bad beginning” and uses it to her advantage. I’ve always heard other versions of this song being rendered acapella and I do believe this might be the first one with instruments.

lyrics

She was used she was abused she never knew she was a victim
A father’s drunken pleasure before she was half grown
Her ma ignored and she endured until one night in anger
She broke the bottle on his head, struck out on her own

She headed down to sailor town began her education
For Polly knew the only way to win was fighting back
She learned the ropes, fleeced the dopes, dreamed above her station
And she kept half of everything she ever stole from jack

So you can think that she’s your Polly on the shore
She’ll be your mother or your sister or your whore
She’ll be waving till you’re safely out of view
Then she’s looking for another sailor gullible as you

When the crimp said her ma was dead she wished she could have cried
As rumours of a drunken murder spread to sailor town
But pa went free with drunken glee so Polly had him Shanghaied
He woke up on a hell ship Yokahama bound

Now Polly dines on finest wine and she is quite the lady
She owns almost everything in dirty sailor town
Polly hires and Polly fires and Polly says what maybe
Oh but maybe Polly can’t forget enough to settle down

So you can think that she’s your Polly on the shore
She’ll be your mother or your sister or your whore
She’ll be waving till you’re safely out of view
Then she’s looking for another sailor gullible as you

So you can think that she’s your Polly on the shore
She’ll be your mother or your sister or your whore
She’ll be waving till you’re safely out of view
Then she’s looking for another sailor
(Ghost or fisherman or whaler)
Looking for another sailor gullible as you

credits

from Greening The Dark, releases September 3, 2019

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

contact / help

Contact Debra Cowan

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code