Jericho (Ho-ro the Wind and Snow)
© 1982 Gordon Bok
A toast I made 30 years ago for the schooners we'd been sailing… in those days, it was mostly sailing skill and the shipworms holding hands that kept them in one piece.
Some friends and I were singing it one winter night aboard my temporary home, the schooner Stephen Taber, when a feisty female friend said: "Bok, for your sake, I hope that's a song about a boat…" That time, anyway, the truth set me free. "Jericho" is the name of a bay.
Gordon and Quasi Modal Chorus, with guest Wendy Cohn.
When she's a tight old staver,
Then do all you can to save her;
When she drops her dear old transom,
Time to pack your gear and leave her.
Ho-ro, the wind and snow
Flying o'er the Jericho
When the stormy winds do blow
Swing her off and let her go.
Here's to her lodging knees
And her bobstays, if you please,
Here's to her trestle trees:
May they never leave her.
When the fog is on the punkin
And you hear the bells a-tunkin'
Then remember Mama's warnin':
Keep her off the rockpiles, darling.
Here's to the dear old lady,
Here's to her paint and putty
Here's to her chain plates, darling,
May they keep her all together.
Keep her full and keep her going,
Never jibe her when it's blowing;
There's no way of knowing
When she's going to tear it, darling.
Don't you go down to the city
Though the women all be pretty:
They'll take your money, darling,
Oh, and they'll reef your mainsail.
So here's to her garboard strakes
And to the water that she makes
When to the pumps we takes
Just to let her know we love her.