Photo Credit: Jennifer Long

Jericho is a modern sea song that has become popular with our sailors and passengers alike. This song tells of the deep relationship between sailor and ship, and the need to care for each other. The chorus describes sailing through wintry weather in a bay named Jericho, and the of ultimate knowledge that boats, like people, are not immortal and must someday be let go.

Musician and sailor Gordon Bok describes, in 1982, that the song came about from “a  toast I made 30 years ago for the schooners we’d been sailing… in those days, it was mostly sailing skill and the shipworms holding hands that kept them in one piece.”

Learn how to wish and treat a boat well through the music and lyrics below:

 

Full Lyrics - Jericho

When she’s a tight old staver,

Then do all you can to save her;

When she drops her dear old transom,

Time to pack your gear and leave her.

 

Chorus: Ho-ro, the wind and snow

Flying o’er the Jericho

When the stormy winds do blow

Swing her off and let her go.

 

Here’s to her lodging knees

And her bobstays, if you please,

Here’s to her trestle trees:

May they never leave her.

 

Chorus

 

When the fog is on the punkin

And you hear the bells a-tunkin’

Then remember Mama’s warnin’:

Keep her off the rockpiles, darling.

 

Chorus

 

Here’s to the dear old lady,

Here’s to her paint and putty

Here’s to her chain plates, darling,

May they keep her all together.

 

Chorus

 

Keep her full and keep her going,

Never jibe her when it’s blowing;

There’s no way of knowing

When she’s going to tear it, darling.

 

Chorus

 

Don’t you go down to the city

Though the women all be pretty:

They’ll take your money, darling,

Oh, and they’ll reef your mainsail.

 

Chorus

 

So here’s to her garboard strakes

And to the water that she makes

When to the pumps we takes

Just to let her know we love her.

 

Chorus