American Old Time Song Lyrics: 36 Shipmates And Messmates

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 36

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Copyright, 1891, by Francis, Day & Hunter.
Written by W. J. Lytton. Composed by Geo. Le Brunn.

Our ship has just returned from far across the foam.
Back to hearts that yearn-back to "Dome Sweet Home!"
Faces beam with pleasure, once again to view-
Once again to mingle with the boys in blue.
But my heart feels sad when I call to mind
Mem'ries of the shipmate, left so far behind!
I must break the tidings of his wat'ry grave-
I must bear his loved ones the message that he gave.

For we were shipmates and messmates afloat and ashore,
Shipmates and messmates to plough the sea no more;
Friends here below, whether fate smiled or scoffed,
Shall we be shipmates, up, up aloft?

In fancy once again the parting scene I see,
Mothers, sweethearts, wives weeping on the quay;
I can hear Jack whisp'ring, "Mother, do not fret,
I will make a fortune for you and Polly yet!"
All went well until the ship was ordered home.
Fever took poor Jack-his grave's beneath the foam;
Oh, the mem'ry tills me with a choking here.
And in vain I try to restrain the falling tear.-Refrain.

I stood beside him when the end was drawing near.
As he took my hand, whisp'ring in my ear:
"Go to dear old mother messmate, take her this,
Say I sent it for her,-give for me a kiss.
To my sweetheart, Poll, this, my medal take,
Bid her always wear it, for her lover's sake;
And, ere we forever say the last adieu,
Just one little keepsake, this ring, dear boy, for you!-Refrain.
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