Works in the Herald 1922

There has been further trouble on one of the Federal Government's "Bay" ships. This time it was on the "Moreton Bay," because the crew objected to the boatswain's mate, who was an old timer. It is reported this morning that the trouble had been settled.

We didn't like the bo'sun's mate --
(Yo, 'eave ho!  an' a bottle o' lemonade or somethin' soft, Miss).
Becos 'is dile filled us wiv 'ate --
(Yo, 'eave ho!  An' a bottle o' near-beer, or somethin' that's real easy scoffed, 
We ain't the crowd for gettin' shick
Becos we've joined the Bolshevik.
An' we reckon Jack's as good as -- Hic!
(Schuse me!  'Tain't the likker.  I'ah the sense of injush-tish an' wash the right 
   thing to be dealt out ter seamen's sorter sent me aloft, Miss).

We didn't like 'is kind o' face --
(Yo, 'eave ho!  An' a bot'l Soviet Sarsparliler -- or anythin' the comrades drink, 
Ses 'e, "Yeh lubbers!  Splice mai brace!"
(Yo, 'eave, Hic! . . . . Sheems ter me these Bolsh'vik ..... make yeh skicker'n yeh 
   think, Miss).
'E wash a reel two-fisted bloke.
One o' them coves 'oo made a joke
O' swillin' rum -- like the ole sea folk.
(You know shailors? -- Ole shilly shellbacks -- .... -- dis'plin -- all that short 'er 
   ole fash'n talk?  Makes the service stink, Miss).
Eh?  Wash at, Miss?  It's af'er six?
An' yeh won't sherve drinksh?
We've done our tricks?
A'right!  (Yo, 'eave ho, for a bot'ler) . . . Blast!
Bill, cut that song!  It 'urts!  Avast!
She's goin' out??  Hey, jump abroad!
Struth!  Nearly missed!  'Eave up! Oh, Lord! . . . 

Ah! Gimme a ship as a ship should be,
An' a sailor man as loves the sea!
Gimme a sight o' the sheelin' gull,
An' the wash a widenin' aft 'er hull.
An' -- 'ere's a sign I'm findin' grace --
I LIKES the look o' that bos'un's face!
Ah!  Smell them breezes!  Come on, Bill!
'Twas longshore dope.  We're sailors still!

The Mooch of Life "C. J. Dennis"
Herald, 23 May 1922, p4

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06