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Al Read
 
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THE SAILOR COMES HOME WITH THE WASHING
by
T.W. Connor

Performed by Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)

The Anchor was weighed - the Anchor was weighed
In the scale at the rag-shop it went
The sailor stood chewing the knob off the door
For all his bad money was spent.

He'd squandered three ha'pence in less than a week
His wife asks for money - in vain
Says, what have you done with it?
All he can say - is
"The mice have been at it again!"

So the sailor comes home -
He's bound to come home
For nothing - his longing - can force back
At the end of the trip
He comes home on his ship
Well... you wouldn¹t expect him on horseback!

And he's tattooed from top to bottom
With broken hearts, cupids and arrows
The flags of all nations, and all kinds of fruit
From cod-fish to vegetable marrows.

And many a dark and stormy night
He thinks of his sweetheart Nell
And the soldier who came to see him off
And wish him - a soldiers farewell.

And he knows that she thinks of her darling Jack
For a sailor's life isn't all honey
He leaves her 'half-pay' then he goes away
So he doesn't get much for his money.

Now I¹ll tell you a tale of the 'Leaky Liz'
And her fiery-whiskered skipper
Famous for weathering storms at sea
And a fondness for jam on his kipper.

His feet were bad, but a handsomer lad
No blind man ever set eyes on
He'd warts on his neck
He'd saved from the wreck
And a nose you could advertise on.

But he was a stickler for duty
And only got off once a week
And then he 'got off' at Southend
With the Duchess of Barking-Creek.

It was just about forty eight bells - sir
I stood on the Starboard Quarter
And - looking cock-eyed through my megaphone
I noticed a girl in the water.

I shouted, "Ahoy" to the Captain
My heart going all pitter patter
"There¹s a girl in the channel,
She¹s wearing red flannel."
The Captain said, "That doesn¹t matter!"

"Take in the washing and throw her a line."
And his one eye was rocking with laughter
Said, "Get her aboard
And let¹s see what she's like,
We'll take her particulars after."

So I hauled her on deck
With a rope round her neck
But she didn¹t come to - it was funny
So each of our crew did all they could do...
And went through her pockets for money.

Then she woke up and told us her story
She'd swam all the way from Malacca
The skipper said, "What?"
And there - on the spot
Knocked her down with a 'chew of tobacca.'

But she got up again, and sang us a song
The song I shall never forget
"As soon as I touched my seaweed
I knew it was going to be wet."

And every heart was melted
Every face was a sight
For the girl had a voice like an Angel
One that's been out all night.

The Captain was weeping - all down his back
At the sound of the sweet refrain
And picking her up in his strong, loving arms
Threw her back in the sea again.

And as she went down for the third time
She thanked me for saving her life
And as soon as she's saved enough money
I'm NOT going to make her my wife.

But a sailor's life's full of adventure
I once got a peep in the Harem
Where the girls all have beautiful dresses to wear
But are never allowed to wear 'em.

I was wrecked for a while on a Cannibal Isle
And got married without any warning
I was pulled in a wigwam on Saturday night
And pushed out on Sunday morning.

I brought home a monkey from there for my girl
Of attraction - she soon was the centre
For the monkey was dandy-grey-russet one end
And the other end... pink and magenta.

But sailors don¹t care -
You can feed him on air
And bisuits as hard as a rock
But you can¹t make him sit on a boiler and sing
"Stop yer ticklin', Jock."

And when he's at sea
He's so jolly and free
His spirit there's no fear of squashing
The waves wash the ship -
And the waves wash the shore
And the sailor comes home with the washing.

Then here's to the sailor who doesn't ask much
And does all the good that he can
But must have a wife in every port
For a sailor - can be - but a man.
 
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