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THE WRECK OF THE "WHAT'S HER NAME"
by
Ronald Bagnall & Denham Harrison ( 1912 )

'Twas in '48 on a winter's night,
on a broiling summer day,
The What's-'er-name sailed from port
with a cargo of sherry and hay!
She'd seventy souls aboard 'er,
dishonest, brave and true,
But ninety of that seventy-five
were nigh in Timbuctoo.
The crew it numbered sixty-eight,
the Captain several more,
The stokers numbered twenty-two
and the brokers numbered four.
The first mate totalled thirty-one,
the women numbered three
The children sixty-five all told
and the rest had passage free.
Gratis nothing free my lads
Nothing, gratis, free.
We'd been at sea for a year or more
or nearly a month at sea.
Three days are long to feed a ship,
when they all have passage free!
'Twas a foggy night and the stars shone bright,
while the watch kept a bad look-out.
When all at once and after a bit
and all of a sudden... a shout!!
"Brokers ahead! d'ye hear the cry?"
We all got on our stumps.
And thro' the fog we 'eard the Captain cry
"What ho-. she does roll!
All hands on deck to clear the wreck,
the wrecky deck to clear."
The men they called for smelling-salts,
the women shrieked for beer!
Good old glorious beer my lads,
not arf, four alf beer!
'Twas a beautiful sight to 'ear 'em
as they shivered in the heat
To see the tramp of 'eavy 'ands
the despairing clasp of feet.
Three cheers for the gallant Captain
rang from a million throats
The men they mann'd the lifebuoys,
and the women mann'd the boats.
We sent up signal rockets
as they fell upon the rocks.
You might a' been at the Palace
on a Thursday watching Brocks!
The Captain, brave and trembling
was a block of the good old chip.
He`cross'd the bridge at midnight
and was first to leave the ship.
A block off the old chip my lads,
the first to leave the ship.
The cabin-boy then took command
to boss he was athirst.
"Women and children stand back there
and let the men go first."
The men poor frightened creatures
soon were huddled in the boats.
While women filled by force
their over-coats with Quaker oats.
Ah! see there looming just ahead,
astern, now what is that?
A snail! A sail! A ship to save'?
No oply a matinee hat!
"Just hand me a savage Woodbine",
said a lady with a sigh.
The cabin boy he eyed his pip
and then he piped his eye.
Eyed his meersham pipe m' lads
and merely piped his eye.
Again another ship comes by,
"Hullo there! Who are you?"
"We're the "What's-'er-name
and we're going down and you?"
"We're the Dunno-who!"
 
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