Short Jacket and White Trousers is a little song about cross-dressing and gender confusion among the officers and men (and and one woman) of a sailing ship at sea. It all gets sorted out in the end, but the captain still gets very cross – though perhaps a little wiser.
I learned this little gem from the singing of A L Lloyd, whose notes on the subject of this song are interesting.
3 thoughts on “Short Jacket and White Trousers”
Thanks for posting this, and for the link to A L Lloyd. I am writing a novel series about a young woman who crossdresses after her husband dies, and signs aboard a frigate during the Seven Years War.
Hi Linda –
This theme of the cross-dressing young woman is such a favourite in the old songs, and raises such complicated questions, I’m sure it will provide a rich seam for a novel. Good luck with it!