The periodic and apparently inevitable strike of seamen is on once more in Australia.
Men of the sea (said Bones, A.B.) Is touchy coves and curious, They stands a lot, till some dark plot Gets 'em all hot an' furious. Tricks with their food brings on a mood That's apt to be real shirty. That's how come we once struck at sea In days when ways was dirty -- Them blastin', blazin', hazin' days When ships an' seas was dirty. We was 'Frisco bound in a ship ill-found An' scarce a sound plank in 'er, Wheh cook speaks free, an' he says, says he: "There's no plum-duff for dinner!" "Wot? No plum-duff?" we answers gruff An' snarky like, an' surly. "Avast!" says we. "We'll strike at sea Till we gets it, late or early Down marlinspikes! The whole crew strikes! For we likes duff late an' early." The old man, he don't seem to be No ways put out about it. "Plum-duff?" he purrs. "Why, sure, good sirs, You'll get some, never doubt it." An', cold an' hot, 'twas duff we got An' nothin' else thereafter. "Wot? Had enough? You swabs, you stuff!" The skipper roars wi' laughter. "Nought else will come. Eat some, you scum! Wot? Sick? Excuse my laughter!" Men of the sea (said Bones, A.B.) Is proud an' supercilious. But that don't do, not when a crew Grows pasty-faced an' bilious. Whe we bore down on 'Frisco town A sick crew 'twas wot landed An' skipper says: "Now, go yer ways, An' say I ain't free-'anded! You strikin', bluffin', puddin'-stuffin' sweeps, Say I'm mean-'anded! You loafin', leerin', mutineerin' mutts, I 'opes yer stranded!"
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005|