The Shabby Years

 

Once we shipped aboard a trainer

Midshipmen with pale hands

Bright young buckles in the sunshine

Haul away to distant lands

Now we gather in the parlour

Telling stories from the past

Circumnavigate the table

Turn a memory, raise a glass

 

Here an admiral, there a captain

Bible-bound and dim with beer

Ticking clocks and landlocked sailors

Counting down the shabby years

 

Once we shipped aboard a frigate

Sailed at Ushant in the van

Mustered all in blue and bloodstains

Did the work of thirty men

Now we sit and watch the weather

All along the harbour wall

Classifying brig and barque

Till sunset strikes the dog watch bell

 

Once we shipped aboard a slaver

Dirty work for bitter hands

Every voyage a kind of failure

Haul away to Guinea sands

Haul away to Guinea sands

Haul away to Guinea sands

 

 

© MarkGSongs 2011