Jericho  (Ho-ro the Wind and Snow) 

© 1982  Gordon Bok


            A toast I made 30 years ago for the schooners we'd been sailing… in those days, it was mostly sailing skill and the shipworms holding hands that kept them in one piece.

            Some friends and I were singing it one winter night aboard my temporary home, the schooner Stephen Taber, when a feisty female friend said: "Bok, for your sake, I hope that's a song about a boat…"  That time, anyway, the truth set me free.  "Jericho" is the name of a bay.


Gordon and Quasi Modal Chorus, with guest Wendy Cohn.


When she's a tight old staver,

Then do all you can to save her;

When she drops her dear old transom,

Time to pack your gear and leave her.



            Ho-ro, the wind and snow

            Flying o'er the Jericho

            When the stormy winds do blow

            Swing her off and let her go.


Here's to her lodging knees

And her bobstays, if you please,

Here's to her trestle trees:

May they never leave her.


When the fog is on the punkin

And you hear the bells a-tunkin'

Then remember Mama's warnin':

Keep her off the rockpiles, darling.


Here's to the dear old lady,

Here's to her paint and putty

Here's to her chain plates, darling,

May they keep her all together.


Keep her full and keep her going,

Never jibe her when it's blowing;

There's no way of knowing

When she's going to tear it, darling.


Don't you go down to the city

Though the women all be pretty:

They'll take your money, darling,

Oh, and they'll reef your mainsail.


So here's to her garboard strakes

And to the water that she makes

When to the pumps we takes

Just to let her know we love her.



Jericho is recorded on Schooners and is also found in the songbook One to Sing, One to Haul