Aft on the poop there is walking about
Our bully second mate so able and stout,
What he is thinking of he doesn't know himself,
It seems to us he's quite forgot to strike, strike the bell!
Strike the bell, second mate, let us go below.
If you look to wind'ard you will see its goin' to blow.
Look at the glass, you will see how it's fell.
I wish that you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell!
Aft on the maindeck working at the pumps.
There is the larboard watch a-longing for their bunks,
Lookin' to the wind'ard they see a great swell
They're wishing that the second mate would strike, strike the bell!
Aft at the whell there poor Anderson stands
Grasping at the spokes with his cold, mittoned hands,
Looking at the compass, the course clear to tell,
He's wishing that the second mate would strike, strke the bell.
For'ard on the fo'c'slehead keeping sharp lookout
There is Johnny standind, he's ready to shout.
"Lights burnin' bright sir! and everything is well!"
He's wishing that the second mate would strike, strike the bell.
Aft on the quaterdeck our cap'n there he stands
Lookin' to the wind'ard with his glasses in his hands,
What he is thinkin' of we know very well,
He's thinking more of shortening sail than strike, strike the bell.
abc | midi | pdf
Source: Singing Together, Spring 1974, BBC Publications
The pamphlet acknowledges Spin Publications for this song, from Folk Songs from Spain - which certainly surprises me, as I have heard the English form many times.
Further research has determined that the tune to "Strike the Bell" is not Spanish. It's based on Henry Clay Work's "Ring the Bell, Watchman!" (1865). Sheet music is at the Levy Collection (Click on the title below):
Title: Ring the Bell, Watchman! Song and Chorus.See also broadsides at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words and Music by Henry Clay Work.
Publication: Chicago: Root & Cady, 1865.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: High in the belfry the old sexton stands, grasping the rope with his thin bony hands
First Line of Chorus: Ring the bell, watchman! ring! ring! ring!
ring the bell watchman [title].The tune has also become Click, Go the Shears (Burl Ives' folio at the National Library of Australia).
The tune has also be used for a Temperance song "Sign the Pledge", which I have heard only once, so I'm unable to provide the lyrics.
Roud: 4190 (Search Roud index at VWML)