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The Last Shanty

Great Big Sea

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!

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!

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?

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!

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!

They gave us a radar set to pierce the fog and gloom
So now the lookout's sitting in a tiny darkened room
Loran does navigation the Sonar says how deep
The Jimmy's 3 sheets to the wind, the Skipper's fast asleep

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!

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