Songs Of The Sea: Can Of Grog

Songs Of The Sea examines different sea shanties and the story behind the lyrics. From A Drop Of Nelson’s Blood to Rolling Down to Old Maui, rum features prominently in many sea shanties and another one that comes to mind is Can of Grog. A mixture of rum and water, grog was the lifeblood of the royal navy, served up until Black Tot Day. 

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Black Tot Day

It was madness

Every lad from port to starboard

Jostled to get to the front of the line

Black armbands flailing like jolly rogers

Even the bosun were throwing punches

Until the pipe came and the six bells rang 

A profound silence filled the air

Up spirits one last time

Drinking to memory 

A procession of lament and final salute

Three centuries of tradition buried at sea

All these years later I still remember that bloody slogan

“Last Issue of Rum to the Royal Navy 31st July 1970.”