The Eddystone Light

My father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light,
He slept with a mermaid one fine night,
And from that union there came three,
A porpoise a porky and the other was me.

Yo-ho-ho, the wind blows free,
O for a life on the rolling sea.

2. One night as I was trimmin' the glim,
And singing a verse from the evening hymn,
I see by the light of me binnacle lamp,
Me kind old father lookin' jolly and damp.

3. A voice from starboard shouted, "Ahoy!"
And there was me mother sittin' on a buoy,
Meanin' a bouy for ships what sail,
And not a boy what's a juvenile male.

4. "Well, what became of me children three?"
Me mother then she asked of me.
Well, one was exhibited as a talking fish,
The other was served as a savory dish.

5. The phosphorous flashed in her seaweed hair,
I looked again and me mother wasn't there,
But her voice came echoing out of the night,
"To hell with the keeper of the Eddystone Light!"


The first lighthouse was built at Eddystone Rocks, a reef south of Plymouth England, in 1698. This song refers to the fourth lighthouse, built by James Smeaton between 1756 and 1759. That lighthouse stood for 127 years. Cracks at the base eventually caused another to be built. The Smeaton lighthouse was dismantled and rebuilt on Plymouth Hoe.

Midi Sequence Credit - Charles Wingate