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Al Read
 
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THE SAILOR
by
Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)

They say a man's known by the company he keeps
I think that a lie and a scandal
'Cos I've mixed with company I didn't expect
At the seaside, in bed with a candle.

You can't judge a man by the corns on his chest
But you'll soon know his trade by his caddy
And you can't judge a woman by what she's got on
It's what she takes off proves a lady.

I'm a sailor, I am. People sing about me
When there's any rough weather I find it
But give me a place with the mast to my face
When I'm sick give me somewhere behind it.

My dad was a sailor from Plymouth, named Drake
One night on the Hoe he'd been sozzling
He said, "Marry me, Chuck," to a dear little duck
And I was their first little gosling.

I'm captain of my ship. I worked my way up
To the bridge of H.M.S. Renown
Then a gale blew a blast, swung me twice round the mast
Through the funnel I worked my way down.

I'm always kept busy when on the look out
Busy thinking of home and Eliza
And I hear that she's well on the look-out for me
In case I come home and surprise her.

On the last trip we took, all the cabins were booked
And an old gent was joining at Cadiz
So I wired from the ship, "Better cancel the trip
Have just given berth to two ladies."

That trip we had several big nobs on the ship
Amongst them was Hitler, the Great
And two Yiddisher sea gulls were flying above
And saying, "That's him, now aim straight."

One night off Hong Kong the wind was so strong
That fast to the mast I was pinned
So I made the ship stop, got a peppermint drop
And I very soon shifted the wind.

History repeats itself - radishes too
And once off the coast of Mombassy
I fell in the sea and a whale swallowed me
And I spent three whole days in its chassis.

We didn't agree - the whale tired of me
But I hoped and prayed I would get out whole
Then I found a way out - I sat inside its snout
And the whale blew me out of its spout-hole.

I've seen some strange sights in strange cities at nights
I've seen tattooed girls of all sizes
All with pictures tattooed on their - don't be so rude
And the boys looking on at cut prices.

I've seen female turks doing physical jerks
One fat girl I saw looked the best
She'd a small piece of lace, so you couldn't see her face
And some shells and a bead for the rest.

She bent this way and that as she wallowed in fat
Poor darling, she was in a plight
Every time the girl dipped all her cockle shells slipped
And we thought that the end was in sight.

Every sailor they say has a girl in each port
Wherever I dock I'm called 'Honey'
I get letters from dames all over the world
And most of them asking for money.

And to say that a sailor has one in each port
Well, that isn't fair, right or just
When I land on the quay there's a score after me
And you can't see my ankles for dust.
 
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