Changing Berth


Jack Flaher was skipper, young Mickey was nipper
And Carrigan mate of the Fury
Their berth by the shore, due south of Coyne’s store
They were leaving at one for the Brewery
Comprehending his art, Jack derided a chart
But glanced at the elements grimly
Little Mick gave a shudder when ordered to rudder
And steer for the Gashouse chimney

Some call her a tub, she’s a clipper-built Grubb
And Jack is the man to command her
And Carrigan he, when he goes on the spree
Says ‘I’d take her from here to Santander’
Oh, where is the craft with a twenty-inch draught
That answers her helm so trimly
If she’s worse of the wear and in need of repair
Well, so is the Gashouse chimney

When she swung from the Quay with her head to the sea
Jack Flaher’s profanity thundered
For the mate on a bout had that day broken out
And mingled his drinks by the hundred
Mickey noted with fear seeing he was to steer
That Carrigan’s walk was unseemly
With a mate on the bust and a skipper that cussed
Could he hope to set eyes on the chimney

Then Carrigan’s pole ran them up on a shoal
And Jack in a way that was droll too
Swore that Carrigan came of a stock I won’t name
Denying repose to his soul too
It was ten o’ the night, not a lamp was alight
And the Pole Star shone but dimly
Jack cried ‘We’ll be drowned and we’ll never be found
But we’re safe if you steer for the chimney’

They came over their prayers and their several hairs
Arose with a series of panics
Mickey ported the helm and he ran for an elm
That grows over-right the Mechanics
‘You puppy, you’ll smother her, rudder her ! rudder her !’
Yelled Jack, Mick ruddered her nimbly
And the crowd on the shore gave the cheer-fullest roar
As he steered for the Gashouse chimney

Through the rushes they swept and then cautiously crept
By the Budge and the Slip to deep water
And beside the Quay wall with a heave and a haul
To anchor they finally brought her
‘Sure, we might have been blown to the cowld Torrid Zone
Or the deserts of Nova Zimbley’
As the skippet’s voice sank, they jumped out on the bank
And walked home by the Gashouse chimney


Pigeon house chimney

Pigeon house chimney

Song Clip



Song Themes

Songs of the sea