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Barrack Street - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Barrack Street, also sometimes known as 'Patrick Street', is a traditional song popularized by Nic Jones.  It was included on his 1980 album 'Penguin Eggs'.  I haven't been able to find out very much about its origin.  It may be related to an Irish song, but the reference in the lyrics to 'Windsor Town' very much locates this version in England.  It is similar in some respects to the song, 'New York Girls', which has been recorded by the Oyster Band, amongst others.  If you know where Barrack street comes from, contact me.

song - Barrack Street - on iTunes

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Chords

Capo at 5th Fret

C                                                               F                   C

All sailors all come lend an ear, come listen to me song:

   C                           F                                                                G7
A trick of late was played on me and it won't detain you long.

   C                                                           F                            G7
I come from sea the other day and a girl I chanced to meet;

            C                       F                                              G7         C
Oh me friends will be expecting me to a dance in Barrack Street.

 

Barrack street's chords are very simple to play on your guitar - just C, F and G7. You can put a capo at the fifth fret to play along with the beautiful Nic Jones version, or move your capo up and down your guitar's fretboard in order to locate the chords in the key that works for your voice.

Lyrics

All sailors all come lend an ear, come listen to me song:
A trick of late was played on me and it won't detain you long.
I come from sea the other day and a girl I chanced to meet;
Oh me friends will be expecting me to a dance in Barrack Street.

I said "My young fair maid, I cannot dance so well;
Besides I am to Windsor bound where are me friends do dwell;
I've been to sea these past two years - I've saved up thirty pounds;
Oh me friends will be expecting me this night in Widsor town."

"Well if you cannot dance me love then you will stand a treat"
Have a glass or two of brandy and a something for to eat;
At six o'clock this evening, oh I'll meet you off the train,
So don't forget to give a call when you come to town again."

At eight o'clock that evening, then, the drinking did begin,
And when we all had drunk our fill the dancing did begin;
Me and me love danced all around to a merry tune;
She says, "Me dear, let us retire to a chamber alone."

So dancing being over and to bed we did repare,
And there I fell fast asleep the truth I will declare;
Me darling with me thirty pounds, gold watch and chain had fled,
Left me here poor Jack alone, stark naked in bed.

So I looked all around me and there's nothing I could spy,
But a woman's shirt and apron all on the bed did lie;
I wrung me hands and tore me hair crying, "Oh what shall I do?
Fare you well, sweet Windsor town, I'm sure I'll never see you."

Well, everything being silent and the hour but twelve o'clock,
I put on the shirt and apron and steered for Crowman's Wharf;
The captain says, "Now Jack, I thought you were to Windsor bound -
You might have got a better suit than that for thirty pound."

I might have got a better suit if I'd have got the chance -
I met a girl in Barrack Street; she took me to a dance.
I danced me own destruction - now I'm struck from head to feet.
I swear that I won't go no more down in Barrack street.

So all of you young sailor lads a warning take from me:
Beware of all your company when you go out on a spree,
And keep clear of Barrack Street or else you'll rue the day,
In a woman's shirt and apron, oh, they'll rig you out for sea.

Other English Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs