Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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318           SONGS AND BALLADS
Our boarding pikes and cutlasses are bright as the sun, Our shot racks are copper, boys, every one ; Our pumelins and hand spikes and belaying pins also, With our bright iron staunchions we cut a fine show.
Neither combings or hatchway I'd have you go near, From the bell or cook's funnel I'd have you keep clear; Nor yet in the galley I'd have you to go, For a black thunder squall will take you in tow..
Now, my brave boys, comes the best of the fun, All hands to make sail, going large is the song; From under two reefs in our topsails we lie, Like a cloud in the air in an instant must fly.
There's topsails, top-gallant sails, staysails also, There's stunsails on both sides aloft and below, There's royals, and skysails, stargazers so high, By the sound of one pipe everything it must fly.
Now, my brave boys, comes the best of the fun, It's hands about ship and reef topsails in one ; Our hands go aloft when the helm it goes down, ' Lower away topsails when the mainyard goes round.
Trice up and lie out, and take two reefs in one, In a moment of time all this work must be done; Man your head braces, your haulyards, and all, And hoist away topsails when it's let go and haul.
As for the use of tobacco, all thoughts leave behind ; If you spit upon deck then your death warrant's signed If you spit overboard either gangway or stern, You are sure of six dozen by the way of no harm.
But worse than all this, I have known them to stop A week's wine or grog if you spill but one drop ; Either forward or aft I would have you keep clear, Or the bell, or cook's funnel, will fall to your share.
Come, all brother seamen, wherever you be, From all fancy frigates I'd have you keep clear ; Take compassion all on us, and never forget, Those poor pipe-clay rangers so called of late.