Old Zeb

©1976 Larry Kaplan, Winter Harbor Music, BMI ©1991 Larry Kaplan, Hannah Lane Music, BMI

        Zebulon Tilton was a famous skipper of the coasting schooner Alice S. Wentworth, hauling everything from brick to oysters around New York and New England. Larry Kaplan compiled these stories about Zeb into this song. I was mate in the Wentworth the last year she sailed. (GB)

I'm not tired of the wind, I'm not weary of the sea,
But they've probably had a bellyful of a damned old coot like me,
So I'm going ashore, and she's bound for better days,
But I'll see her topsail flying when I come down off the ways.

    Rosie, get my Sunday shoes, Gertie get my walking cane;
    We'll take another walk to see old Alice sail again.

If I had a nickel for every man I used to know
Who could load three cord of wood aboard in half an hour or so,
Who could get on sail by hauling, instead of donkeying around,
I'd be the poorest coasterman this side of Edgartown.

Any fool can work an engine; takes brains to work a sail,
And I never see no steamer get much good out of a gale.
You can go and pay your taxes on the rationed gas you get,
But at least for me the wind is free, and they haven't run out yet.

If I ever get back to her, I'll treat her just the same;
I'll jibe her when I want to, and sail in the freezing rain.
I'll park old Alice on the beach and go dancing in the town,
'Cause a man that's born for hanging probably never will get drowned.

repeat first verse

Old Zeb is recorded the CD Gordon Bok and Bob Zentz - Together Again for the First Time and the the Folk-Legacy album Ensemble