A Salty Christmas Medley (Lyrics, Info, Audio, Video)

Let's play "what if?" What if those old Christmas carols the stores all inundate you with every year were composed by salty sailors of yesteryear? Here's my take on 6 of popular standards, re-imagined as sailor songs. Only I have restrained myself a bit and tried to make them less rude than those old sea dogs probably would have done them. I hope you will find the result entertaining and a relief from the broadside fired at you in shopping malls and stores throughout Christendom and beyond.

P.S. for ultra-conservative evangelical types: Jesus has already been informed by several of your number, and my place in Hell reserved, so action on your part is not required. Kick back and enjoy your eggnog.

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Original Song Lyrics

Image: xmas lights on a sailing ship1. To the tune of "Silent Night":
On Christmas Eve night
We got in a fight
I’m all bunged up
And me shipmate’s a sight
That harbor tavern we struck like a gale
Now we’ll be spending
This Christmas in gaol
As sailor-men have done before
And we’ll not be the last ones I’m sure

2. To the tune of "Away In a Manger" (British version):
Away in a merchantman
Me shipmates and me
With our rum-soaked old Captain
We went off to sea
The stars in the night sky
He used them to steer
And so we’ll spend Christmas
In Hong Kong this year

Oh I wish I were in Devonshire
For I hates Chinese grub
And I don’t care a fig for
This creaky old tub
But the salt’s in me marrow
And that’s why, my dear
I never knows just where
I’ll spend Christmas each year

3. To the tune of "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen":
No rest ye scurvy sailor-men!
What are ye playin’ at?
If yer carcasses don’t get aloft
In just two seconds flat
I’ll flay your idle hides off with
The nine tails of me cat!

Ain’t no time on watch for comfort,
Me boys. Don’t make a noise!
Ain’t no time on watch for comfort, jolly boys

Reef in them sails ye monkeys
And when ye’ve got them stored
Get down and with a holystone
Scrub this deck’s every board
And put yer ruddy backs to it
‘Til I gives ye the word

Ain’t no time on watch for comfort,
Me boys. Don’t make a noise!
Ain’t no time on watch for comfort, jolly boys

4. To the tune of "What Child Is This?":
What ship be that
On them there lee shoals
What the rocks from sinkin’ are keeping
Her spars be shivered
And her planking sprung
And her crew with Davy Jones sleeping

This be a prize for wreckers to loot
O the Excise ain’t never caught ‘em!
Pull, boys, haste!
Thru these breakers we’ll scoot
Afore that there ship goes to the bottom!

5. To the tune of "O Little Town of Bethlehem":
O little town of Port Royal
On fair Jamaica’s shores
We swills the hops in yer grog shops
And dallies wid’ yer … ( !!! )
Then thru yer dark streets stumbling
We somehow finds our ship
Whence we bids you a fond adieu
‘Til we comes back next trip!

6. To the tune of "Jingle Bells":
Sailing to the South
In an ancient leakin’ brig
O’er the waves she goes
Wallerin’ like a pig
The bell on shipboard rings
And they drags ye from yer berth
Ye slaves away on Christmas Day
For everything yer worth - OH!

Reefing sails in howling gales
Workin’ night and morn
Oh what fun it never is
Sailing around Cape Horn - HO!
Seas that sweep men overboard
And grub that’s nought but swill
Ye swear you’ll not do this again
But ye know damned sure you will!


Lyrics Video