The Saint Nicholas
So I’m off with the Good St Nicholas Boat

St Nicholas Boat Score
So I’m off with the Good Saint Nichols Boat
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St Nicholas
So I’m off with the Good Saint Nichols Boat
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Respectfully dedicated to Captain Angus and Blue Jackets

Greek Christmas Boat
Photo: Greek Reporter
So, I’ll off with the good Saint Nicholas boat
 To the pier of Grantonia again;
For I’m never so happy as when I’m afloat
 On the wide wavy pathway to Jane.
For the good Saint Nick is the boat for me,
 Though the waters be wild or still;
So I’ll off to Jane Ann for a Christmas spree—
     Do you really think I will,
          Jane Ann?
     Oh, yes! I am sure I will.
She wrote me last evening a bright billy-doo,
     Which came all the way by the rail;
But what it contained, pray, ‘tis nothing to you,
     And I ain’t the spark that will tell.
“Come up,” wrote she, “to your Christmas pie,
     And have of plum-pudding a fill;
I’ll take no denial from ye, Willie, not I—
     Do you really think I will,
          Old boy?
     But you’re wrong if you think I will.
“And don’t you get groggy with Johnny the cook,
     Nor the mate, nor the steward—no, no;
And don’t you be casting a sly loving look
     At some pretty sick maiden below.
Beware of the Saint’s blue jackets, for they
     Will treat you with whisky until
You tumble half-down the companion way—
     Do you really think he will,
          Jack Tar?
     Then you are to blame if he will.
“And don’t you be dancing on deck all the night
     With a cold-hearted thing from the North,
Till you’ve pass’d the East Neuk, and the May
          Island Light,
     And the bird-covered Bass in the Forth.
When I’ll see the good Saint coming steaming along
     Oh! then, how my fond heart will thrill;
While I hear in the distance the blue-jackets’ song,
     Do you really think it will,
          Old boy?
     Oh! yes, I am sure it will.
“All the girls in Leith are a-marrying now,
     And you must be thinking of ours;
A ring and a robe, and a wreath for my brow,
     Of the richest and rarest flowers.
And when we are spliced, a retreat we will seek,
     Near a valley, a mountain, land rill;
And we’ll both take a trip with St. Nicky to Wick,
     Do you really think we will,
          Old boy?
     Oh, yes! I am sure we will.”
So I’ll off with the good Saint Nicholas boat
     To the pier of Grantonia again;
For I’m never so happy as when I’m afloat
     On the wide wavy pathway to Jane.
For the good St. Nick is the boat for me,
     Though the waters be wild or still;;
And I’ll marry Jane Ann for a Christmas spree—
     Do you really think I will,
          Jane Ann?
     Oh, yes! you know well that I will.
Tune: SO I’M OFF WITH THE GOOD SAINT NICHOLAS BOAT / SALLY LIGHTFOOT JIG
          by James Scott Skinner
Text: William Hay Leith Tester (La Teste)

Full score from The Miller o’Hirn Collection of over One Hundred Strathspeys, Reels, Highland Scottishes, Slow Airs, Songs, Hornpipes, Jigs, etc, Composed & Arranged for the Pianoforte or Violin and Violoncello, Fourth Edition by James Scott Skinner, Library of Scotland, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Melody notation and mp3 file from Musescore, public domain. Transcription by John Chambers from a transcription by Terry Traub.

Text by William Hay Leith Tester (La Teste), (1829-1892) from The Select Poems of William Hay Leith Tester (La Teste) Sixth Edition, Elgin: James Black, 1875, pp. 68-69.

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