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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.