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The Keeper of the Eddystone Light

There have been five lighthouses on the Eddystone Rocks, which stick up out of the sea some 14 miles south of Plymouth, England. This song refers to the fourth light, built by James Smeaton in the 1750s when its predecessor burned. It in turn was replaced by the present light in the 1880s. The top half of Smeaton's light was reassembled in Plymouth, but the stump remains to this day, on the largest rock in the group, next to the present light. Here is a visit to the Eddystones which also has links to information on all the lights.


My father was the keeper of the Eddystone light
And he slept with a mermaid one fine night
Out of this union there came three
A porpoise and a porgy and the other was me!
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!


One night, as I was a-trimming the glim
Singing a verse from the evening hymn
I head a voice cry out an "Ahoy!"
And there was my mother, sitting on a buoy.
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!


"Oh, what has become of my children three?"
My mother then inquired of me.
One's on exhibit as a talking fish
The other was served in a chafing dish.
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!


Then the phosphorus flashed in her seaweed hair.
I looked again, and my mother wasn't there
But her voice came angrily out of the night
"To Hell with the keeper of the Eddystone Light!"
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!



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