A Merry Life And A Short One

When the boy went to sea

He had no idea of the life he would lead

All he wanted was to leave the old one behind

Scrubbing decks was his bread and butter

Aboard, there was no bread and butter to eat

After the first month he stowed away on another ship

A great beast of a vessel railing against the wind

Powered by a restless need to wander and conquer

The captain found him the same day

Half-starved, more ghost than boy

Rum brought him back to life

Warmed his blood 

From that day forward he wore many hats

Swabbie, powder monkey, first mate, captain

Shanties became his lullaby

Violence became his religion

Rum became his mistress

Drank in victory, burned in defeat

Years later the boy returned home

His father didn’t recognise him

He saw a man in fine clothes

It was the last thing he saw

The boy went back to the sea

Roving to the edges of the world

Until he went down with his ship

A merry life and a short one

Druken Sailor

Do you want to know my dad’s favourite shanty?

Drunken sailor

Not that he was ever one himself

A sailor I mean

He’s always been a bit of a romantic

Collecting ships in bottles

Sipping overproof rum in his armchair

Reading pirate novels

In another life he probably would’ve joined the navy

But he wanted to start a family instead

He set me off on a rum voyage

We sail together every month

Raising bottles of Bajan beauty

Swigging Jamaican gold

Warming our guts with Martinique sunshine

When he’s not around anymore

I’ll take my own boy sailing

And we’ll keep the family tradition alive