Today’s words: “The Walloping Window-Blind”
One summer, when I was a kid, I discovered a great songbook at the library. I’ve forgotten the name of the book, but I remember a lot of the songs within it, including “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” and “Boom Boom, Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy?” and this song. The words, minus the chorus, are from a poem by Charles E. Carryl, and the first verse goes like this:
A capital ship for an ocean trip
Was the Walloping Window-Blind.
No gale that blew dismayed her crew
Or troubled the captain’s mind.
The man at the wheel was taught to feel
Contempt for the wildest blow,
And it often appeared when the weather had cleared
That he’d been in his bunk below.
Chorus: So, blow ye winds heigh-ho,
A-sailing we shall go,
We’ll stay no more on England’s shore
So let the music play–
I’m off for the morning train,
I’ll cross the raging main,
I’m off to my love with a boxing glove
Ten thousand miles away.
The rest of the poem is here.
I taught the song to my sister, and we used to sing it wholeheartedly together. She also sang it multiple times to calm herself down from being nervous the night before school was to start. We had separate bedrooms and I could hear her sing in her high-pitched voice from my room. I now associate the song with my sister, and with first-day-of-school jitters.