Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson
Arranged by Evan Mathieson
You walk up the gangway, and step on the deck,
Of the big-bellied tanker sae oily and wet,
The petrol fume reek, that your nostrils can smell,
Takes one little spark to blow ye tae hell,
But twenty-eight pounds for a month, and yer grub,
It’s a bloody good reason for joining that tub.
When ye arrive at your first port of call,
Tae hell wi’ the ship, and we’ll all have a ball,
Bad rum and good sorts, that can smile wi’ their eyes,
And make ye believe you’re a king in disguise,
Your bleary eyes open and blink at the dawn,
No longer a king and yer money all gone.
The chief engineer has that look in his eye,
Of a sadist who loves to watch engineers die,
He makes you go down where the engines do hum,
And yer sick and yer sorry from all that bad rum,
And ye work and ye sweat and ye pitch and ye roll,
’Til you’re fit for a spree in the next port of call.
Month in and month out, you’re sailing around,
From Texas to Rio, then Africa bound,
You work 'til your soul case has slipped out of gear,
And you’re scratching to pay for your smokes and your beer,
For little is left once you’ve sent money home,
So you’re tied to the ship and you’re destined to roam.
The tankers they’re building get bigger each day,
I hope it’s the same with the tanker man’s pay,
Long hardworking sea trips eat out a man’s life,
And he’s missing the kids and he’s missing the wife,
Then a curse on those rust bucket tubs I was on,
They kept me at sea, and away from my home.
© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au