Many shore-side people when they hear `abandon ship`,
Think perhaps it’s easy, an exciting fun day trip,
Just ambling down the gangway and stepping in a boat,
But my friend believe me - the chance of that’s
Especially in the wartime with sinkings every day,
With very fraught conditions in each and every way,
Any time, throughout sunshine, or night `till dusky dawn,
With no choice of the weather, in calm to violent
Your ship becomes a victim, so thoughts run through your head,
Shall I find my shipmates, are they maimed or dead?.
Better grab my cigarettes - wrap `em water tight,
Is the enemy still waiting to kill us all
Should I try to put the fire out, that’s blazing on the deck,
Am I wasting time, if the ship’s a total wreck,
Shall I jump overboard, and swim beneath the oil,
Before I’m blown asunder
and depart this mortal coil?.
I may not hear `abandon ship` or any firm dismissal,
If there is a smashed up bridge or no steam on the whistle,
Where the Hell`s my lifejacket ? - that I mustn’t spurn,
now is listing and sinking by the stern.
It reminds me of the trenches when rivets fly nearby,
Or in amongst the blitz when bombs drop from the sky,
If you escape from that, you may just walk away,
But it is a little
different with an ocean to survey.
If you’re not incinerated, blind and choked by fuel,
Attacked by barracuda or drowned in sea so cruel,
Suffer thirst or sunstroke, or madness from despair,
Run down or crushed
by `rescuers` - then all you have is prayer.
Hauled into a lifeboat - escaping from the flame,
OK lads get pulling - which way’s the shipping lane?,
A thousand miles from nowhere - did a mayday call go off,
that a lurking U-boat, spied in a leeward trough?.
Three weeks it was we rowed across, the lurching heaving seas,
In spite of constant bailing with salt water to our knees,
Subsisting on bare rations and tins of marmalade,
Six of us survived that trip, the memory does not fade.
However I was lucky, restored to my life of bliss,.
Thought I`d speak to Joe, he could write it down - like this!.
the lamp one night - the above observations were noted).