> Mike Waterson > Songs > Bye Bye Skipper

Bye Bye Skipper

[trad. arr. Mike Waterson]

Mike Waterson sang Bye Bye Skipper accompanied on chorus by his sisters Lal and Norma, his niece Maria, and Jim Eldon on his 1977 album Mike Waterson and on the Topic sampler Round Cape Horn: Traditional Songs of Sailors, Ships and the Sea. A.L. Lloyd commented in the original album’s sleeve notes:

A trawlerman’s heartfelt complaint and farewell. For some reason, during the 1930s a favourite tune for such working men’s parodies was Bye, Bye, Blackbird. Mike Waterson heard this one in a pub in Hull.


Mike Waterson sings Bye Bye Skipper

Tell me skipper, is it true,
You can’t get a crew to sail with you?
Bye bye skipper

And tell me skipper, is it right,
You can’t get a crew to sail tonight?
Bye bye skipper

Why, is it ’cause when we’re on deck a-workin’
You’re in between your blankets bloody shirkin’?

Well pack me bag, pack me grip,
But you won’t see me back here next trip.
Skipper bye bye


Thanks to Wolfgang Hell for the transcription and Steve Willis for the corrections.