Old sailors sit and chew the fat
'bout how things used to be
Of the things I've seen
and places I've been
When I ventured out to sea.
They remember friends from long ago
and the times I had back then
of the money they've spilled
and the beer I've swilled
In the days as sailing men.
Their lives are lived in days gone by
with thoughts that forever last
of cracker-jack hats
and bell-bottom blues
and the good times in my past.
They recall long nights with a moon so bright
far out on a lonely sea
and the thoughts they had
as youthful lads
When our lives were unbridled and free.
They know so well how our hearts would swell
when the flag fluttered proud and free
and the stars and the stripes
made such beautiful sights
as they plowed through an angry sea.
They talk of the bread ole' cookie would bake
and the shrill of the bosun's pipe
and how the salt spray fell
like sparks out of hell
When a storm struck in the night.
They remember mates already gone
who forever hold a spot
In the stories of old
when sailors were bold
and lubbers were a pitiful lot.
They rode their ships through many a storm
when the sea was showing its might
And the mighty waves
might be digging our graves
as they sailed on through the night.
They speak of nights in a bawdy house
somewhere on a foreign shore
and the beer we'd down
as they gathered around
cracking jokes with a busty whore.
Their sailing days are gone away
Never more will I cross the brow
But I have no regrets
for I know I've been blessed
'cause they honored the sacred vow.
Their numbers grow less with each passing day
as their chits in this life are called in
But we've nothing to lose
for they've all paid the dues
and they'll sail with their shipmates again.
I've heard them say before getting underway
that there's still some sailin' to do
and I'll exclaim with a grin
that their ship has come in
and the Lord is commanding the crew.
© 2001-05 Larry Dunn
Used here with his permission