Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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At four in the morning the game is begun, To the cock-pit the waisters for buckets must run ; For fore and main topmen so loud they do bawl, For sand and for stones both large and small.
O Master Make-clever, you know very well,
He comes upon deck and cuts a great swell;
It's ' bear a hand here, boys,' and ' bear a hand there,'
And in the lee gangway he takes a broad sheer.
Half a dozen he starts, and so he goes on; You're sure of a hiding, boys, every one; For soldier or sailor he cares not a damn, But he'll hide you as long as you're able to stand.
Our decks being wash'd and our sheets being home, Stand by your hammocks, boys, every one ; Seven turns with your lashings so equal must show, And all of a size, boys, and through the hoop go.
Our hammocks being stowed, and our breakfast done, We're ranked in divisions with our white hats all on; With our speeguls and lashings so black they must shine, With our white frocks and trousers we must all be a line.
Our division officer then takes his round,
Not a hole nor a spot on your clothes must be found ;
For an hour or more in this form we must be,
Our ropes they are flemished either in harbour or at sea.
Our divisions being over, the next thing comes on, Jack o' Clubs he is calling for swabs in his song; Three or four dry swabs each cook they must find, And the bright iron hoops on our mess-kids must shine.
There is pulling and hauling all the four hours round, On deck or below there's no peace to be found; Either paint room, or store room, you're sure for to clear, To find out what blacking or paint is to spare.
Pass the word for the painters, fore and aft is the cry, Neither booms nor gangway I would have you draw nigh, Nor yet in the ports I would have you be found, For six dozen or more to your name will go round.