Haul Away Joe Lyrics

Haul Away Joe is an iconic sea shanty that originated in the 1800s and is still sung today by sailors and maritime folk. It’s a beloved song that has been covered by many different artists and interpreted in many ways. As someone who loves maritime music, I’ve always been drawn to the gritty, soulful lyrics of Haul Away Joe. In this article, I’ll be discussing the lyrics of this beloved song, exploring their meaning and how they’ve been interpreted over the years. From the first line to the last, I’ll be taking a deep dive into the song and all of its nuances. So, join me as we explore the lyrical journey of Haul Away Joe!

Haul Away Joe

Haul Away Joe is a popular sailor’s folk song, believed to have originated in the 1700s. It tells the story of a sailor who is being sent away by his sweetheart, and instructs him to “Haul away Joe, for the land we love so dearly”. The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Johnny Cash, The Pogues, and Bob Dylan.

These days, Haul Away Joe is often used as an anthem of seafaring adventure and freedom. It is a great choice for encouraging morale and resilience during long journeys. The song is now commonly heard in pubs and on sailboats around the world.

Today, Haul Away Joe is celebrated for its nautical roots, setting and lyrics. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase “Haul Away Joe” has become a part of English vernacular and is used to refer to a long journey or voyage.

Haul Away Joe is a classic example of maritime music and of a musical style that has been around for centuries. Its popularity continues to this day, as it is regularly covered by modern artists. The song has been featured in films, television shows, and advertising campaigns, and continues to inspire sailors and land-lubbers alike.

It is not hard to see why Haul Away Joe has endured and continues to be an anthem of sea adventure and freedom. It is an excellent example of the timelessness of folk songs, and is a classic testament to the joy of seafaring.

Verse 1: Traditional Lyrics

Haul Away Joe is a traditional shanty, which is a type of work song that originated from the sea shanties of the British Isles. The shanty is thought to date back to the late 18th century and is believed to be based on an old English folk song. The lyrics tell the story of a sailor, named Joe, who is returning home after a long voyage at sea.

The lyrics of the song are quite simple and consist of just four lines, which are repeated in each verse. The lyrics of the first two lines of each verse are almost always the same and the last two lines vary slightly. The song is traditionally sung a cappella and has been recorded and performed by many artists over the years, including Pete Seeger and The Weavers.

Haul Away Joe has become a popular drinking song and a regular staple at many Irish pubs. Additionally, the song has been used in films, commercials, and television shows. It is also popular as a sing-along song at campfires and other gatherings and is often performed at schools, especially around the holidays.

Haul Away Joe is a timeless classic and a great way to keep the tradition of sea shanties alive. It is a fun and easy song to learn and can be enjoyed by both children and adults. If you’re looking for an easy and enjoyable way to learn the song, you can find plenty of resources online, such as videos, sheet music, and tutorials. You can also find the lyrics in many books about sea shanties.

Verse 2: Modern Lyrics

Haul Away Joe is a traditional sea shanty that was first recorded in the early 20th century. The song was originally written as a working song onboard sailing ships, and has been adapted and recreated numerous times since. Today, the lyrics in verse two of the song are often reinterpreted to reflect modern themes.

The lyrics in verse two discuss the sailor’s tiredness from many days of hard work and determination. The chorus repeats the phrase “haul away, haul away, Joe”, emphasizing the sailor’s desire to move forward in spite of the difficult task. The repetition of this phrase helps to create a sense of progress and hope.

The modern lyrics of verse two also acknowledge the sailor’s uncertainties and hardships. While the sailor expresses a desire to keep moving and achieve his goals, the lyrics also suggest that the sailor might need to draw on his inner strength in order to succeed. The lines “I feel so tired and weary, hard times have been so long” emphasize the sailor’s hardships, while the lines “but I ain’t gonna work no more, I’m gonna find a brand new way” suggest the determination of the sailor to find a better way forward.

The lyrics of Haul Away Joe represent not only the sailor’s longing for a better future, but also the strength and courage it takes to achieve that future. This interpretation of the song has become increasingly popular in recent years, as its themes of hope and determination are relevant to many

Musical Style

Haul Away Joe is a popular sea shanty song that dates back to the 19th century. It is traditionally sung by sailors and fishermen to help them keep in rhythm while hauling ropes and performing other strenuous tasks on ships. This song is known for its upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics.

The musical style of Haul Away Joe is a combination of Caribbean and Celtic influences. It features a lively beat, often created with the help of instruments such as banjos and fiddles. The chorus is typically an enthusiastic refrain of “Haul away, Joe,” which is repeated multiple times. The lyrics often tell stories about life at sea, with themes of hard work and adventure.

Haul Away Joe has become a popular choice for collegiate and professional a cappella groups. In 2018, the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters performed the song at the annual National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC. While it is often used in performance, it is still a favorite among sailors and fishermen. It continues to be a beloved reminder of life on the open seas.

Haul Away Joe is a song that has stood the test of time. It remains a popular choice for singers and groups because of its upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics. Its combination of Caribbean and Celtic influences creates a unique musical style that is sure to get everyone singing along.

Historical Context

The song “Haul Away Joe” is a traditional English sea shanty, dating back to the early 1800s. It has been referenced in old sailor’s logs, suggesting that it was used as a working song on board ships while sailors performed a number of labor-intensive tasks. The lyrics, which often varied slightly, tell a humorous tale of a sailor whose ship has been blown off course and who must beg a passing ship to take him home.

The phrase “haul away” is believed to have originated from the sailing term meaning to pull or tug on a rope or line. This phrase is used throughout the song as a call and response chant, sung by the crew in unison. Interestingly, the phrase “haul away” was also adopted by American whalers, who used the chant to synchronize their movements while harpooning whales.

“Haul Away Joe” has been covered by many musicians over the years, including the popular folk-rock band, The Clancy Brothers. It is still a popular folk tune today, and has even been adapted into a children’s song. According to the International Traditional Music Society, the song has been recorded over 500 times, making it one of the most recorded songs in history.

As a traditional work song, “Haul Away Joe” has been an important piece of musical history for centuries. It has served to both entertain and motivate sailors, and has become a symbol of the labor and hardships of those who worked on the

Cover Versions

Haul Away Joe has become a beloved shanty song, often sung among seafarers and folk music enthusiasts alike. The earliest known version dates back to the late 19th century, and its popularity has only grown since. It has been covered by a variety of artists, from Bob Dylan on his album “Saved” to The Chieftains on their album “Down the Old Plank Road”. The song tells the story of a sailor who leaves the hard life of the sea behind, and the chorus of “haul away Joe, haul away” is said to represent the leaving of the harbor.

In addition to the many covers, there are several collected versions of the song, including the 2017 Sea Songs and Shanties album featuring a performance by the Irish group Cooney’s. This album was nominated for a Grammy in 2018 for best traditional folk album. As its popularity continues to grow, Haul Away Joe is becoming a beloved piece of folk music history.

Many versions of the lyrics exist, and some experts suggest that the true origin of the song may never be known. However, the word “haul” is thought to be derived from the Middle English word “hool,” meaning “to pull” or “to drag,” which seems to fit with the lyrical content of the song. What is known, is that Haul Away Joe has been sung for centuries, and is a favorite among seafarers and folk music fans alike.


“Haul Away Joe” is a classic folk song that has been around for centuries. Its timeless lyrics and catchy tune have made it a favorite among sailors, landlubbers, and music lovers alike. Whether you’re looking to sing a song with friends or simply appreciate the beauty of traditional folk music, “Haul Away Joe” is sure to please. I urge everyone to listen to this incredible song and take a few moments to appreciate the simple yet powerful lyrics. It’s a song that is sure to stay with you for a lifetime. So why not give it a listen today? You won’t regret it.