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THE LAST SHANTY (A Sailor Ain't A Sailor)


M' father often told me, when I was just a lad,
A sailor's life was very hard, the food was always bad;
But now I've joined the navy, I'm on board a man-o-war,
And now I find a sailor ain't a sailor any more!

Chorus

Don't haul on the rope, don't climb up the mast,
If you see a sailing-ship, it might be your last;
Get your civvies ready for another run ashore,
A sailor ain't a sailor, ain't a sailor any more!


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The 'killick' of our mess, he says we've had it soft,
It wasn't like this in his day, when he was up aloft;
We like our bunks and sleeping bags, but what's a hammock for?
Swinging from the deckhead, or lying on the floor?

Chorus

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They gave us an engine that first went up and down,
Then with more technology the engine went around;
We're good with steam and diesel, but what's a mainyard for?
A stoker ain't a stoker with a shovel any more!

Chorus

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They gave us an Aldis Lamp, we can do it right,
They gave us a radio, we signal day and night;
We know our codes and ciphers, but what's a 'sema' for?
A 'bunting-tosser' doesn't toss the bunting any more!

Chorus

***********

Two cans of beer a day, that's your bleeding lot!
But now we gets an extra one because they stopped The Tot;
So, we'll put on our civvy-clothes and find a pub ashore,
A sailor's still a sailor, just like he was before!

Chorus

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Tom Lewis, Copyright 1987/1986 Self-Propelled Music (Surfacing, 1990)

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