Old sailors sit and chew the fat
’bout how things used to be
of the things they’ve seen
and places they’ve been
When they ventured out to sea.

They remember friends from long ago
and the times they had back then
of the money they’ve spilled
and the beer they’ve swilled
In their 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 their 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 their lives were unbridled and free.

They know so well how their 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 boatsun’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 their graves
as they sailed on through the night.

They speak of nights in a bawdy house
somewhere on a foreign shore
and the beer they’d down
as they gathered around
cracking jokes with a busty whore.

Their sailing days are gone away
never more will they cross the brow
But they have no regrets
for they know they’ve been blessed
’cause they honored their sacred vow.

Their numbers grow less with each passing day
as their chits in this life are called in
But they’ve nothing to lose
for they’ve all paid their 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 they’ll exclaim with a grin
that their ship has come in
and the Lord is commanding the crew.


Larry Dunn
June 4, 2001