The Ballad of the Good Ship Scarthin Books
Composed by the Lewd Lady of Church Lane for Christmas 2008
The Waves (and Grumblings in the Fo’c’sle) seem to have risen higher since The Ballad of Scarthin Books of Yesterchristmas The Skipper
Well, here we are again,
dear friends,At Scarthin’s Christmas do,
Despite the fact that finances
Are deeply in the poo.
We brush aside the credit crunch,
Shrug off the Wall Street crash,
For we, the cabin staff and crew
Are clearly on the lash.
Our skipper squints myopically At his aperitif,
Then smiles a happy, gappy smile,
For he’s mislaid his teeth.
He’s always losing something,
specs and bag,
But when the timbers resonate,
We know he’s lost his rag.
He steers us blindly into storms
And battens down the hatch,
Yet still the bilges fill with dross
That we just can’t dispatch.
Our pilot on the poop deck
Peers through his telescope;
No orders in the offing,
help! There is no bloody hope.
“We’re doomed, we’re doomed”,
his Guyness moans,
“No time to fiddle-faddle;
For, methinks, that we are up Shit Creek, without a paddle.
“What say we mount a mutiny
Stick head honcho on a raft
To do a Captain Bligh?”
“No, no, calm down”, his good wife soothes,
“We have to ride the storm.
We’ve got the crew to do it, see,
There’s brains, you know, and brawn.
“Our purser, for example, has
A very high IQ;
He’s also big on other things,
Like dumplings, cake and stew.
“He’s magic with the sextant
Punctilious with the log,
And when the yardarm has been passed,
He dishes out the grog.
“He is a cognoscente,
And for our benefit
Displays his erudition.
Yes, He is a shining wit.
“First Mate Phil’s a bonzer bloke,
A wizard at the wheel;
He trims the sails and tries to
De-barnacle the keel.
“But Captain and Commander
Loves the little sods;
He thinks it’s quirky to display
“So, under cloak of darkness,
Phil and Bosun Dave,
Scrape the little buggers off
Into an unmarked grave.
“The bosun’s into teddy-bears,
But otherwise he’s sound;
He’ll always fly the flag for us
And never get us drowned.
“He whistles all of us aboard,
Diverts us with a jig,
Performs the sailor”s hornpipe,
Then slopes off for a cig.
“Our not-so-ancient mariner
Stoppeth one of three
And buyeth books both old and rare
To swell his Ivanry.
“Full oft he sitteth on the deck
And telleth wondrous tales
That helpeth our poor matelots
Forget all their travails.
“There’s Orpheus, our Midshipman,
Who’s musical to boot.
He can quell the raging storms
By plucking on his lute.
“We’ll send him up the ratlines,
And say, “Now Mr Hunt,
If you can pacify the waves,
‘Twould be a cunning stunt!”
“The rest are able seamen,
Jolly tars all told;
There’s Plimsoll Pam and Jaunty Jen
Though they are getting old.
“They’ll never climb the mizzenmast
Nor do the crow’s nest thing.
Perhaps they’re just some jetsam that
Himself can safely sling!
“And then, my love, there’s me as well,
Supporting, never faltering,
I keep a tight ship and ensure
The seamen aren’t revolting.
“I supervise the cargo and
Facilitate the freight.
Just like Magellan,
I was born To circumnavigate.
“I’m good at all things nautical,
Can tie a mean Turk’s head,
But when I splice the mainbrace, well
My two cheeks flush bright red.
“And don’t forget the cabin staff
That scrubs this Ship of Fools,
Nor, of course, the galley slaves
Led by our precious Joolz.
“With meagre rations they knock up
Comestibles so fine,
Like onion bargee, baked lascar
And schooners full of wine.
“And, so, you see,
dear husband mine, Despite their many faults,
You’ll never find a better band
Of jolly jacks and salts.
“They’ll guide us through the tempests,
They’ll nurse our creaking craft,
They’ll do it all for peanuts,
Because, thank God, they’re daft!
“As for the ship in which we sail,
Our listing, leaking lugger,
If it collapses then ‘twould be
A veritable bugger.
“With decks held up by acro-jacks
And timbers like a sieve,
The chances are it will implode
And none of us will live.
“So, what’s the point of worrying
Have faith in props and crew;
We’ll reach the harbour then we’ll start
The whole charade anew!”
At that the pilot smiled and said,
“Each shipmate is my mucker,
And as for you, my darling wife,
You’ve always been my succour.
“Together we will plough the main
And grapple with the gales,
We’ll even shoot an albatross
If it improves our sails.
“So, Merry Christmas to us all
Aboard the Scarthin Boat,
May Santa Claus bring gifts enough
To keep us all afloat!”