The Bilge Song

(a hyperlinked sea chanty)

Verse 1:
In the bilge of the boat
‘Neath the billows and waves
Sleeps the bilgy-man’s boatswain
Witta biscuit he craves.

Chorus (sung after every verse):
So HUP! the ol’ hanker
Han’ furl patchy sail out.
Th’ scull’ry-mun’s cookin’
Han soon there’ll be shall-out (shallot)!

Verse 2 (Nanook’s solo):
A’ the snewy narth pool
Ware the snew people liv
Thay etts blubbery sausages
Caught wit ‘are shivvs!

Verse 3 (the manatee verse):
By thar feshy lagoons
War the fesh womun stay
They all carve up them mer-cows
What eats thare mer-hay!

Verse 4:
Wall me girl hare shay boilt
May some squits up rale fine.
So I thanks har rale nice
An me brings har some wine.

Verse 5:
Me liver an’ egglets
I frys en a tire
Cuz ya can’t light a
Woodstove wit sain’ elmo’s fire.

Verse 6:
An all we got now fer
Our sup ‘ere ez chum.
Cause the first mate (or “captain”) haint cookin’
Tha’ droonkin ol’ bum.

Verse 7:
Tonight wit’ the chicken
Thares limes en th’ gurvy.
Thay rotts all our teef but
Thay keeps off the scurvy.

Verse 8:
Now it’s back to the docks
To me warf chicky wive
Ware shay and me young warf
Lad bake brinebarry pive.

Verse 9 (the kelp/agar verse):
Here I lise in th’ kelp
En me agary grave.
So think o’ me sweet
Wan som ice cream ya crave.

Verse 10:
So bring yer sea knife an
Yer sea spoon. Let’s eat!
Ar’ the sea kits will finish
‘R fried sea-goat teat!

Note: Feel free to add a word or syllable to make a verse fit your mouth better. – G.G.

Additional note: From what I can recall the bilge song was written over the space of several months on the backs of three pieces of scrap paper, including at least one torn envelope in which bills arrived. This was probably sometime circa 1999-2001. For a long time they remained buried and lost under separate piles of paper, so it’s kind of amazing they all came back together in the end.

The note at the end was on the original manuscript and I’ve transcribed it exactly as written. I have no idea who “G.G.” was, if that was a real person who commented on the thing, or the name of some fictional character I made up.

About Peter

This guy lives in Boston MA with his beloved wife and two kids. You can get some idea of his likes and dislikes from posts on this website or elsewhere.