Bound for South Australia (SSAB)

Music: Trad. arr. Frances Cockburn. Words: Trad.
performance time approx 2m 15s
Range S1: g' – e'' / S2: c' – a'' / A: c' – g' / B: g – d'
Price code: B
Complexity: *

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This shanty, also known as Rolling King or Ruler King, was used at both the capstan (for raising the anchor) and at the pumps. Numerous versions exist. Shantyman and folk song collector Stan Hugill noted that it was unusual for a shanty to mix both “Heave away” and “Haul away”, ‘heaving’ generally being reserved for the job of pushing the capstan round and ‘hauling’ for raising the sails. But both made sense at the pumps, whose handles were attached to large wheels and so had to be both pushed and pulled.

The recording is by the Wild Myrtles, directed by Frances Cockburn.


In South Australia I was born!
Heave away! Haul away!
South Australia round Cape Horn!
And we’re bound for South Australia!

Heave away, you rolling king,
Heave away! Haul away!
All the way you’ll hear me sing,
And we’re bound for South Australia!

As I walked out one morning fair,
It’s there I met Miss Nancy Blair.

There ain’t but one thing grieves my mind,
It’s to leave Miss Nancy Blair behind.

And as you wallop round Cape Horn,
You’ll wish to God you’d never been born!

I wish I was on Australia’s strand,
With a bottle of whisky in my hand.

Oh, rock and roll me over, boys,
Let’s get this damn job over, boys.


Purchase – 2059: Bound for South Australia (SSAB)

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