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Roll Down

[Peter Bellamy]

Cyril Tawney sang Roll Down in the role of The Shantyman in 1977 in Peter Bellamy’s ballad opera The Transports. Kimber’s Men sang it on the 25th year Commemorative Issue, The Transports—2004.

John Roberts sang Roll Down in 2002 on the Revels CD Homeward Bound.

The Young’uns sang Roll Down in 2012 on their CD When Our Grandfathers Said No. They commented in their liner notes:

Roll Down is the shanty from Peter Bellamy’s epic folk opers The Transports. We were honoured to sing this in the South Bank’s production of The Transports to mark the 20th anniversary of Peter Bellamy’s passing at Sidmouth Folk Festival 2011.

This video is from The Transports at Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2017:


Cyril Tawney sings Roll Down

Sweet ladies of Plymouth, we’re saying goodbye
      Ro-o-o-oll down!
But we’ll rock you and roll you again bye and bye
      Walk her round, my brave boys and roll down!
      And we will ro-o-o-oll down!
      Walk her round, my brave boys and roll down!

Now the anchor’s aweigh and the sails are unfurled
And we’re bound for to take her half-way round the world

In the wide Bay of Biscay the seas will run high
And the poor sickly transports they’ll wish they could die

When the wild coast of Africa it do appear
The poor nervous transports they’ll tremble with fear

When the Cape of Good Hope it is rounded at last
The poor lonesome transports they’ll long for the past

When the great southern whales on our quarter do spout
The poor simple transports they’ll goggle and shout

And when we arrive off Australia’s strand
The poor weary transports they’ll long for the land

And when we set sail for old England’s shore
The poor stranded transports we’ll see them no more

Then sweet ladies of Plymouth we’ll pay all your rent
And go roving no more till our money’s all spent