Come gather round me lads and I'll tell you a thing or two;
About the way we ran the Navy in nineteen forty-two.
When wooden ships and iron men were barely out of sight;
I'm going to give facts just to set the record right.
We wore the ole bell bottoms, with a flat hat on our head;
Always hit the rack at night and never "went to bed."
Our uniforms were worn ashore and we were mighty proud;
Never thought of wearing civvies, in fact they weren't allowed.
What happened to the KiYi brush, and the old salt-water bath;
Holy stoning decks at night cause you stirred old Bosn's wrath!
We always had our gedunk stand and lots of pogey bait;
And it always took a hitch or two just to make a rate.
In your seabag all your skivvies, were neatly stopped and rolled;
And the blankets on your sack had better have a three-inch fold.
Your little ditty bag, it is hard to believe just how much it held;
You wouldn't go ashore with pants that hadn't been spiked and belled.
We had scullery maids and succotash and good old SOS;
And when you felt like topping off, you headed for the mess.
Oh we had our belly robbers but there weren't too many gripes;
For the deck apes were never hungry and there were no starving snipes.
Now you never hear of Davy Jones, Shellbacks or Polliwogs;
And you never splice the mainbrace to receive your daily grog.
Now you never have to dog a watch or stand the main vent;
You even tie your lines today, in my time they were bent.
We were all two-fisted drinkers and no one thought you sinned;
If you staggered back aboard your ship, three sheets to the wind.
And with just a couple hours of sleep you regained your usual luster;
Bright eyed and bushy tailed- you still made morning muster.
Rocks and shoals have long since gone, and now it's UCMJ;
Then the old man handled every thing if you should go astray.
Now they steer the ships with dials, and I wouldn't be surprised;
If some day they sailed the damned things from the beach computerized.
So when my earthly hitch is over, and the good Lord picks the best;
I'll walk right up to HIM and say, "Sir, I have but one request.
Let me sail the seas of Heaven in a coat of Navy blue;
Like I did so long ago on earth way back in Forty-two.