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Gosport Nancy

[ Roud - ; Ballad Index Tawn040 ; Mudcat 78363 ; trad.]

Gosport Nancy is a traditional drinking song collected by Cyril Tawney in Grey Funnel Lines (1987, pp. 54-55). He sang it on his 1989 and 1990 Neptune Tapes cassettes, In the Naval Spirit and Sailor’s Delight. The latter recording was also included in 2003 on his Ada Recordings compilation Nautical Tawney. He commented:

Across the harbour from Portsmouth lies the borough of Gosport, its junior neighbour and the setting for another unique composition. In style and spirit it can rank alongside the best of the old sailing-ship ditties on the same subject. The author was clearly a cut above the usual standard of [Royal Navy] songwriters, yet he (or they) remains anonymous.

Bellowhead recorded Gosport Nancy in 2014 for their tenth anniverary CD Revival. This video shows them in ITV Weekend in June 2014:


Gosport Nancy, she’s my fancy,
She’s the girl to make good sport;
How she’ll greet you when she meets you
When your ship gets into port;
All the Gosport ladies,
They loves a sailor man,
But for finding a way to spend your pay
There’s none like Gosport Nan!

Gosport ladies love their gargle,
Gosport girls they goes their tot;
Rum and brandy, gin and shandy,
Gosport girls will drink the lot;
All the Gosport ladies,
They swigs the flowing can,
But for knocking it back with Honest Jack
There’s none like Gosport Nan!

Gosport girls they’re good at dancing,
They’re the best there is, no doubt;
When the music sets them prancing
How they fling their skirts about;
All the Gosport ladies,
They do the French Can-Can,
But for real high kicks and fancy tricks
There’s none like Gosport Nan!

Gosport Nancy keeps a parlour
Where the boys can take their ease;
She will wake you, yes she’ll shake you,
She will do whatever you please;
All the Gosport ladies,
They do the best they can,
But for making a bed for a sailor’s head
There’s none like Gosport Nan!