I used to play off and on with a sea shanty group in Saint-Petersburg. There's this one fellow member from England who kept tossing off remarks like "We need some kind of Christmas shanty". Now that's is rather like waving the proverbial red flag at the proverbial bull. The songwriter in me couldn't rest until I'd written it... AND recorded it.

Later the bloke started to drop remarks like "We need a shanty about Yorkshire Pudding and it's role in the Battle of Trafalgar". Yanking me chain, the scurvy barnacle! Listen, matey, I'm stickin' with drink and ladies of indifferent virtue!

For those of you with a yachtsman in your life... or even just a sailor down on the docks... this will make a nice (and CHEAP!) gift when the holiday season sails into your home port.

Lyrics

Oh we will not be home for Christmas
Heave me hearties, haul away!
We’ll be south of the Panama isthmus
Heave me hearties all!
On the day when Christ was born
We’ll be sailing ‘round Cape Horn
Heave me hearties, haul away!
Heave me hearties all!

Oh we shall spend the Lord’s birthday
Heave me hearties, haul away!
Working for a sailor’s pay
Heave me hearties all!
We’ll mark the day with a swaller of rum
If the Old Man gives us some
Heave me hearties, haul away!
Heave me hearties all!

Oh we’ve got a carpenter on board
Heave me hearties, haul away!
But he ain’t nothing like Our Lord
Heave me hearties all!
Pickled in gin, he ain’t no good
Lying in the scuppers sawing wood
Heave me hearties, haul away!
Heave me hearties all!

Oh it's true we're not religious men
Heave me hearties, haul away
We slip from virtue now and then
Heave me hearties all
Whenever we get some time ashore
You'll find us drunk with a cozy whore
Heave me hearties, haul away
Heave me hearties all

If ever you meet us in port, then you
Heave me hearties, haul away!
You can buy us all a drink or two
Heave me hearties all!
For roving wastrels all are we
Who live upon the lonesome sea
Heave me hearties, haul away!
Heave me hearties all!

Oh we wish you lubbers warmth and cheer
Heave me hearties, haul away!
As ‘round the Horn our ship we steer
Heave me hearties all!
Singing as we sail away
And we’ll not be home for Christmas Day
Heave me hearties, haul away
Oh heave me hearties all!