RUBEN RANZO

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs

 

RUBEN RANZO
This song was a great favorite among top gallant halyard shanties. It has been suggested
that “Ranzo” is a corruption of the name: Lorenzo. American whaling ships often
recruited Portuguese seamen in the Azores, and Ranzo may have been one of these.
However, if the song originated in whaling vessels it seems to have spread quickly to
ships of other kinds and became as well known to British as to American seamen.
Oh, poor old Reuben Ranzo,
Chorus: Ranzo, me boys, Ranzo
Oh, poor old Reuben Ranzo,
Chorus: Ranzo, me boys, Ranzo
Oh, Ranzo was no sailor
So he shipped aboard a whaler
Oh, Ranzo was no beauty
So he couldn’t do his duty
Oh, because he was so dirty
He give him five and thirty
Oh, the skipper’s daughter Suzy
Well, she begged her dad for mercy
Oh, she give hime wine and water
And a bit more than she ought to
Well, he got his first mate papers
He’s a terror to the whalers
Now he’s known whereever them whale-fish blow
As the hardest master on the