THE FLYING BOATMAN
Charles J. Winter
Stick to your trade is the motter for me,
And a wonderful good motter too,
The cobbler should stick to 'is wax so I say,
And the joiner should stick to 'is glue.
I've follered the sea for forty odd year,
But I once by mistake broke away,
And I follered the air just by way of a change,
For the whole of one perishing day.
It 'appened like this some aeronaut chap
To the village 'ad brought a balloon,
And 'e anchors it down in a field, for next day
He was giving a show about noon.
Well I leant on some rails looking seaward,
And dreamed of the bar at the Magpie and Stump,
When my pipe was sent flying right out of my mouth,
And I gets an almighty great thump.
The wind 'ad sprung up, the balloon 'ad broke loose,
I was lifted right clean off my feet,
For in passing, the anchor 'ad dragged on the ground
And then stuck in my trousers' seat1.
I often 'ave 'eard of a rise in the world,
But this rise would be 'ard to match,
And I blessed my old woman who'd done such good work
When she sewed on my trousers that patch.
Up went the balloon, and I dangled beneath
Like a worm on a fisherman's line.
Down below were my boats all let out by the hour
Not a penny of which would be mine.
I 'ollered and screamed till my voice got quite hoarse
And my throat got uncommonly dry,
But all I could 'ear was some kids who cried out
'Look, old Ben's going up to the sky!'
I travelled all day with the 'ot sun above
And the blue rolling waters beneath,
When I 'ears a loud hiss, the balloon sprung a leak
And the gas rushes out of the sheath.
Then I 'ad an idea, I'd been often blown out
By the drinking of bottles of Bass.
So I climbed up and placed my mouth over the hole
And sucked in the Hydrogen gas!
I started to swell and my buttons flew off
With the sound of a crackling spark,
And as the balloon 'ad quite shrunk, why I
Chopped it away with a cutting remark.
Relieved of its weight I bobbed up so 'igh
I thought I'd bash into the stars.
Then I gently and gracefully fluttered to earth
Like the man in the 'Message from Mars.'
Down below was the land I'd crossed over the sea
So I knew I should come down in France,
But the Frenchies it seems didn't quite like the look
Of me doing my aerial dance.
They started off firing their pistols and guns
Till the shots flew about me like rain,
So I kicked off me boots, rose, and caught some fresh wind
And then sailed back to England again.
But when I touched ground why I bobbed up again
Till I'd covered a furlong or two,
And so I proceeded with bounds and with 'ops
Like a terrible great kangaroo.
In the village the news of my going 'ad spread
And the people were running about,
They'd rung all the bells, they 'ad let the dogs loose
And old Jack the Towncrier was out
Announcing they'd give a reward of ten bob
Which the mayor 'ad made up to eleven
To the one who would bring them back old Boatman Ben
Who 'ad taken a trip up to heaven.
But up to the evening they'd not heard a word.
They were all of them getting the pip,
When they see me come bounding and bouncing along
Like springheeled Jack out on the rip.
They threw me a line which I caught in the air
And 'eld firmly grasped in my 'and.
Then they 'auled me to earth to the toon of the
'Conquerin' Hero' played by the Town Band.
They thought I'd float off so they sat on my 'ead
Till I couldn't see out of my eyes,
But the gas I got rid of cussing and swearing
Redooced me about half the size.
I ain't got well yet, but I'm getting along
With the 'elp of some Guinness and Bass.
But still you can tell by the way that I talk
I have still got a good deal of gas!