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Wearin of the Green (2)

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The Wearin' of the Green (2)

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The Wearin' of the Green (2)

I met with Uncle Percy, and he shook me by the hand
I said,"How is our navy, sir, and is it still on land?"
'Tis the most distressing navy, faith, that ever yet was seen
'Cause half of them are pay-bobs and the rest are wearin' green."

Oh, I went into the Elgin, not a civvy to be found
But bags and bags of Navy were sittin' there around
There were red and whit and blue stripes, not an exec to be seen
And more than all the others were the wearers of the green.

Each evening in old "Blytown" when the beer is flowing free
You'll hear more salt sea shanties sung then you ever heard at sea
They sing of all the ships they've sunk and ports to which they've been
But truth to tell, they lie like hell, 'cause they're wearers of the green.

Some hand out railway tickets and some run navy shows
You'll even find two-stripers there for washing dirty clothes
O, send me back to Slackerfax where our ships can still be seen
I'll gladly leave Headquarters to the wearers of the green.

note: (from Hopkins) Until 1955, naval officers wore, between their rank
     stripes, a simple coloured strip denoting the branch of the navy to
     which they belonged: purple for engineers, scarlet for medical
     officers, white for supply etc.  During WWII, a new branch--Special--
     was created for everyone that didn't belong anywhere else:
     intelligence, transport, public relations laundry etc. They wore a
     green stripe, and they were very numerous, especially on shore.

     Uncle Percy was Vice-Admiral Percy Nelles, Chief of Naval Staff
     Pay-bobs are paymasters
     Lord Elgin is an Ottowa hotel
     Bytown was the Ottowa Naval Barracks
     A Two-Striper is a Lieutenant
     Exec means Executive Officer
     Slackerfax was a nickname for Halifax. AH

From Songs of the Front and Rear, Hopkins
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III