Courtesy of the sub(mariner) Tom Lewis, late of Her Majesty's Royal Navy, from his website at http://thedance.net/~tomlewis/ which I encourage you most heartily to visit.  There you can hear clips from some of Tom's other songs - I especially enjoyed his song about "Bunts" the Sea Dog.  

As a special favor to Ship 25 for use on this site, Tom Lewis has graciously supplied us with a .mp3 file of the The Last Shanty.  .mp3 files are far greater in quality than the .midi files uses for most of the other shanties on this site, and you can hear the actual singing.  That quality is achieved, however, at the price of a much larger file.  Because it is not a .midi file, the song will not begin playing automatically from this page.  You'll have to click here to listen to Tom Lewis singing The Last Shanty.  It may take a few minutes for the file the_last_shanty.mp3 to download, but please be patient.  It's well worth the wait!! (2.5 mb - ~10 minutes at 56k baud).

Another website to visit for both old and modern shantys is http://www.jsward.com/shanty/

The Last Shanty

Copyright (c) by Tom Lewis - used by permission


M' father often told me, when I was just a lad,
A sailor's life was very hard, the food was always bad,
But now I've joined the navy, I'm on board a man-o-war,
And now I find a sailor ain't a sailor any more!

Chorus:     Don't haul on the rope, don't climb up the mast,
                If you see a sailing-ship it might be your last,
                Get your civvies ready for another run ashore,
                A sailor ain't a sailor ain't a sailor any more!

The 'killick' of our mess, he says we've had it soft,
It wasn't like this in his day, when he was up aloft,
We like our bunks and sleeping bags but what's a hammock for?
Swinging from the deckhead or lying on the floor?

They gave us an engine that first went up and down,
Then with more technology the engine went around,
We're good with steam and diesel but what's a mainyard for?
A stoker ain't a stoker with a shovel any more!

They gave us an Aldis Lamp, we can do it right,
They gave us a radio, we signal day and night,
We know our codes and ciphers but what's a 'sema' for?
A 'bunting-tosser' doesn't toss the bunting any more!

They gave us a radar set to pierce the fog and gloom,
So now the lookout's sitting in a tiny darkened room,
Loran does navigation the Sonar says how deep,
The Jimmy's 3 sheets to the wind, the Skipper's fast asleep.

Two cans of beer a day, that's your bleeding lot!
But now we gets an extra one because they stopped The Tot,
So, we'll put on our civvy-clothes and find a pub ashore,
A sailor's still a sailor, just like he was before!

 
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This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA - http://ship25bsa.org