> Danny Spooner > Songs > The ‘Jamestown’ Homeward Bound

The ‘Jamestown’ Homeward Bound

[ Roud 4700 ; Ballad Index Colc133 ; trad.]

Ye Mariners All (John Roberts, John Rockwell and Larry Young) sang The ‘Jamestown’ Homeward Bound on their 2003 CD Songs of the Sea and, also in 2003, at the 24th Annual Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport. John Roberts noted:

The ‘Jamestown’ Homeward Bound comes from Joanna Colcord’s book Songs of American Sailormen, and refers to the sloop of war built in 1844 which three years later was sent to Ireland with supplies to help relieve the famine.

Danny Spooner sang The ‘Jamestown’ Homeward Bound in 2014 on his CD Sailor’s Consolation. He noted:

This comes from Joanna Colcord’s book Songs of American Sailormen (Oak Publications, New York 1964) and tells of a sloop of war the Jamestown which was built in 1844 but never fired a shot in anger. Three years later, however, she was sent to Ireland with supplies to help those suffering the tribulations of the famine, where she successfully ran the British blockade. I have, in the singing, adapted the original words slightly over time.

Jeff Warner sang Jamestown Homeward Bound in 2018 on his WildGoose CD Roam the Country Through. He noted:

Jeff Davis, my music partner for twenty years, found Jamestown in Joanna Colcord’s 1938 book, Songs of American Sailormen. Davis made some subtle changes to the melody and we recorded it in the 1980s. It’s time to revisit this anthemic song.


Ye Mariners All sing The ‘Jamestown’ Homeward Bound

The farmer’s heart with joy is filled
When his crops are good and sound;
Oh, but who can feel the wild delight
Of the sailor homeward bound?
For three long years have passed away
Since we left old freedom’s shore,
Our long-felt wish has come at last
𝄆 And we’re homeward bound once more. 𝄇

To where the sky is clear as the maiden’s eye
Who longs for our return,
To the land where milk and honey flow
And liberty was born.
So fill our sails with a favouring gale,
And with shipmates all around
And we’ll give three cheers for our starry flag
𝄆 And the Jamestown homeward bound. 𝄇

And now we have arrived in port
And stripping’s our last job,
And friendly faces look around
In search of Bill or Bob.
They see that we are safe at last
From the perils of the sea,
Saying, You’re welcome, Columbia’s mariners,
𝄆 To your homes and liberty. 𝄇