> Martyn Wyndham-Read > Songs > Sailor Home from the Sea (Cock of the North)

Sailor Home from the Sea (Cock of the North)

[Dorothy Hewitt]

Martyn Wyndham-Read wrote the tune to Australian poet Dorothy Hewitt's verses Sailor Home from the Sea in about 1964 and played it to audiences in Britain on his return in 1967. He recorded the song in 1973 for his Argo LP Harry the Hawker Is Dead and in 1997 for his CD Beneath a Southern Sky.

A previously unreleased 1975 recording of Linda Adams was included in 1999 on Jolly Jack & Friends' CD Rolling Down to Old Maui.

Pat Ryan sang Cock of the North in 1977 on her Folk Heritage album Leaboy's Lassie.

Australian singer Margaret Walters sang Sailor Home from the Sea to music set by Chris Kempster in 1990 on her CD For the Future and the Past.


Oh Cock of the North with a dream in his hand
My love has come home to this beautiful land
He bursts through the door with his eyes like the sun
And his kitbag crammed full of the treasures he's won

A coral from Broome and a tall Darwin tale
A pearl and a clam and the jaws of a whale
My kitchen is filled with the smell of the sea
And the leaping green fishes my love brings to me

Oh tumble your treasures from Darwin and Broome
And fill with their glory this straight little room
With the sun of the morning ablaze on his chest
My love has come home from the north of north-west

And deep in our bed we'll lie and we'll be
We'll kiss and we'll listen to the rain on the sea
Warm as the summer, we've lived winter long
My love has come home like King Solomon's song