Bound for the Rio Grande


This song was one of the most popular sea shanties. There are
many variations. Alternate titles include "Away for Rio" and
"the Rio Grande". The Rio Grande referred to in the lyrics is
the Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil. Some versions of the song refer to
"golden sand." Both banks of the Rio Grande in Brazil have high
sand dunes and in the 18th century gold was found in southern
Brazil. Although gold was also found in the Mexican Rio Grande
area, it was not until later, when this song was already well
established. The tune was a capstan or windlass shanty and was
commonly sung on ships that were leaving the West Coast of
England and Wales.


Lyrics

Was you ever in Rio Grande?
Heave away for Rio!
It's there that the river flows down golden sand!
And we're bound for the Rio Grande!

Chorus:
Then away, boys, away,
Away down Rio,
So fare thee well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


So it's pack up your sea-chest an' get underway,
Heave away for Rio!
The girls we are leavin' can have our half-pay.
And we're bound for the Rio Grande!

Chorus:
Then away, boys, away,
Away down Rio,
So fare thee well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


Our ship went sailin' over the bar,
Heave away for Rio!
We've pointed her bow to the southern stars.
And we're bound for the Rio Grande!

Chorus:
Then away, boys, away,
Away down Rio,
So fare thee well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


You Liverpool judies, we'll have you to know,
Heave away for Rio!
We're bound to the south'ard and glad for to go.
And we're bound for the Rio Grande!

Chorus:
Then away, boys, away,
Away down Rio,
So fare thee well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


We're a Liverpool ship & a Liverpool crew,
Heave away for Rio!
You can stick to the coast but I'm damned if we do!
And we're bound for the Rio Grande!

Chorus:
Then away, boys, away,
Away down Rio,
So fare thee well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


Goodbye to Ellen and Molly and Sue,
Heave away for Rio!
You park lane judies, it's goodbye to you.
And we're bound for the Rio Grande!

Chorus:
Then away, boys, away,
Away down Rio,
So fare thee well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.



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