Jack was Every Inch a Sailor – Folk Music

Newfoundland & Labrador has produced a wealth of traditional folk music. They typically discuss people, the fishery and other mis-adventures and served as a great form of entertainment and could be heard in local kitchens with accordions a playin’. I written the classic lyrics of “Jack was Every Inch a Sailor” for you all to enjoy.


Now ’twas twenty-five or thirty years since Jack first saw the light. He came into this world of woe one dark and stormy night. He was born on board his father’s ship as she was lying to ‘Bout twenty five or thirty miles southeast of Bacalieu.

Jack was every inch a sailor, five and twenty years a whaler, Jack was every inch a sailor He was born up-on the bright blue sea.

When Jack grew up to be a man, he went to the Labrador. He fished in Indian Harbour, where his father fished before. On his returning in the fog, he met a heavy gale, And Jack was swept into the sea and swallowed by a whale.

The whale went straight for Baffin’s Bay, about ninety knots an hour, And every time he’d blow a spray he’d send it in a shower. “O, now,” says Jack unto himself, “I must see what he’s about”. He caught the whale all by the tail and turned him inside out.

It is nice to take the time to write down the lyrics of a song, as you really get to pay attention to the story that is being told. One may get inspired to scribe their own stories and churn out the lyrics to a song of their own that is quintessentially Newfoundlandia.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore


  1. Thanks Chris, for your great blog.

    Love the clip from Ryans Fancy, and here’s another version of “Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor”, recorded this spring at the Trails, Tales and Tunes preview show at Coleman’s.

      1. Hi Sheldon. Thank you for the feedback and the great addition of the song by Anchors. They do a great performance throughout the summer in Rocky Harbour. It is nice to see the combination of music and art, at a venue such as the community supermarket.

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