performance time approx 2m 00s
Range T: d# – c'# / Bar: d# – c'# / B: d# – c'#
See a perusal copy (PDF format) of the music
This copy is not licensed for rehearsal, performance or recording.
Hear a MIDI
rendering of Boney
This piece is part of the set Six sea shanties
The next piece is The dead horse
If you don't want to buy the whole set, then you can buy Boney
individually using the link on this page.
Boney is a short haul shanty, used for brief but very strenuous jobs – typically adjusting the set of the huge sails against the heavy pressure of the wind. In traditional shanty singing, it was the job of the shantyman to get shanties going by calling out the verses; then all the other sailors would pitch in with the choruses. In this arrangement, the shantyman’s role is taken first by the Tenors, then passed to the Baritones, then back again (or on to the Basses).
‘Boney’ is of course Napoleon Bonaparte, and the song gives a potted and partisan history of his adventures and final defeat at the hands of the British. The ‘Billy Ruffian’ is sailor slang for the Bellerophon, the ship that took Napoleon into exile on St Helena.
Boney was a warrior,Away hey yah!
A warrior, a terrier,Jean François!
Boney beat the Pruss-i-ans,
The Prussians, the Russians.
Boney marched to Moscow,
Lost his army in the snow.
We licked him in Trafalgar Bay,
Shot his main top-mast away.
’Twas on the plains of Waterloo,
He met the boy who put him through.
He met the Duke of Wellington,
And then his downfall was begun.
Boney went a-cruis-in’,
Aboard the Billy Ruffian.
They sent him into exile,
He died upon St Helen’s Isle.
Purchase – 2042: Boney
The price depends on the number of singers in your group.
This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you
need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print
- for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.
Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.
Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple
credit or debit card if you don't have a Paypal account.
Your Paypal transaction will be in
sterling and it will be converted automatically if
your credit card draws on a different currency.
Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.
If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros,
then please e-mail
your order to us instead of using the form below.
Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not
instantly, because each PDF file is created specially
for the purchaser.
Canasg sells sheet music for choirs …
… in PDF format, delivered by e-mail, with a licence to print as many
copies, and as often, as you like. The copies are for the exclusive use
of one ensemble, and the licence doesn't let you give, lend, hire or sell
them to anybody else. Please read the detail before
Canít see the music samples?
Some web browsers display a very odd presentation of our PDF samples, so that they donít look like music at all. The browser will generally show a small-print warning like “This PDF document might not be displayed correctly”, and offer an “Open with different viewer” button. You can click that to get the PDF file displayed through Adobe Reader (or some equivalent). Then youíll see the music as it should be, and as a printer will produce it.
Our music …
… is mostly by living composers writing in diverse contemporary styles. To explore our whole catalogue, or any of its sections, use the "catalog" link at the top left of this page.
Copying permitted (terms and conditions apply!)
When you buy from us, you can make as many copies as
you need of the music, and as often as you need - so you can replace lost
or worn copies.
Free perusal copies
You can download
a sample PDF from this site, and make a printed copy for your own use. It
will be overprinted “sample”. It isn't licensed for rehearsal
We do not charge a price per copy. You pay according
to the size of your group.
Keep in touch
You can bookmark this page to help you find it again. For new releases, seasonal suggestions, and other news, we invite you
to opt in to our occasional mailing list. Opting out is easy, whenever you want to.
"Liking" Canasg on Facebook is another way to get updates.
You can e-mail us via the link at the foot of this page. We're always interested in your suggestions and your experience with using this web site.