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As the end of the old year nears, I thought I would share three songs in remembrance and honour of seafarers. I dedicate these songs to all those who are still working at sea, to those who have grown old and are now retired, and to those who have sadly departed. As the Scottish dramatist and novelist Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860–1937) wrote, “God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.” Smell the roses, dear readers.

A traditional British naval song to celebrate old friendships. Click here to download.

Lyrics:

 

Safe and sound at home again, let the waters roar, Jack.
Safe and sound at home again, let the waters roar, Jack.

Chorus
Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

Since we sailed from Plymouth Sound, four years gone, or nigh, Jack.
Was there ever chummies, now, such as you and I, Jack?

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

We have worked the self-same gun, quarterdeck division.
Sponger I and loader you, through the whole commission.

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

Oftentimes have we laid out, toil nor danger fearing,
Tugging out the flapping sail to the weather earing.

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

When the middle watch was on, and the time went slow, boy,
Who could choose a rousing stave, who like Jack or Joe, boy?

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

There she swings, an empty hulk, not a soul below now.
Number seven starboard mess misses Jack and Joe now.

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

But the best of friends must part, fair or foul the weather.
Hand yer flipper for a shake, now a drink together.

A poignant folk song to remember those who have perished at sea. Click here to downoad.

Lyrics:

 

Deep Blue Sea, Baby, Deep Blue Sea
It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Dig his grave with a silver spade
It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Lower him down with a golden chain
It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Wrap him up with a silken shroud
It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Golden sun bring it back to me
It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea

Deep Blue Sea, Baby, Deep Blue Sea
It was Willy what got drowned in the Deep Blue Sea
It was Willy what got drowned in the …Deep …Blue …Sea

An old Scottish song to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve and toast old friends. Click here to download.

Lyrics (courtesy of Roger McGuinn):

 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine.
We’ve wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin’ days of auld lang syne.
Sin’ days of auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin’ days of auld lang syne,
We’ve wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin’ days of auld ang syne.

We twa hae sported i’ the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ days of auld lang syne.
Sin’ days of auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin’ days of auld lang syne.
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ days of auld lang syne.

And ther’s a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine;
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

~ Barista Uno

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