Old Red Duster
Hymnal Index | Ship's Company Website
I remember the day when I climbed the gangway
In my new coat and Jacket so clean
No bacon and eggs 'Til I got my sea-legs
'Twas my first trip my God I was green
It's the Old Red Duster on a tramp or a liner
There'll be no Pusser's Navy for me
You can keep your salutes and your spit polished boots
It's the old red duster for me.
On many a ship I've made many a trip
On oceans and seas far and wide
And in ports near in far I've been thrown from the bar
And by many a young girl beguiled.
I sailed in the war like my uncles before
from Britain right down to Bombay
with my little convoy bag I sailed for the flag
for the glory and the medals and the pay
I was pulled from the pool I was nobody's fool
'Twas the jaunt up to Murmansk for me
But the Union said no, as a fourth he can't go
It's the Union forever for me.
This dirty old tramp's got a fo'castle that's damp
Her plates are half sprung and they leak
The food always bad and the master's gone mad
And the bastards the owners are cheap
I've sweated and slaved at this engine I've raged
Nursing this cripple along
For her joints they are creaking and her glands they are leaking
At six knots she's racing along.
I've been in the hold in the heat and the cold
All day and all night as well
And when my times near I'll go without fear
For I've been where it's hotter 'n Hell
So now you all know why the good sailors go
Merchant Seamen to be
If you want anymore like what come before
You can bloody well sing it to me.