picture of Brett Burnham

Brett Burnham
formerly of Bath, Maine
(now living in Guam)

They say life has its ups and downs
This feeling now is quite profound.
I'd rather push the capstan 'round,
But it's "Pump, me lads, before we drown."

Pump, me lads, pump 'er dry,
Down to hell and up to the sky.
Bend your back and break your bones.
We're just a thousand miles from home.

Now the ocean we all do adore,
So come on, lads, let's pump some more.
Don't worry if you're stiff and sore,
For I'm sure we've pumped this bit before.   (Chorus)  

The captain's daughter, I suppose
She could be an English rose.
What do you think when I proposed?
The pox to me she gave a dose.   (Chorus)

This English rose did prick me sore,
I never felt so bad before,
Thanks to the girl that I adore,
I never thought I'd pump no more.   (Chorus)

I went to the doctor right away,
To find out what he had to say.
"That's three pounds ten. Be on your way!"
Well, I'm sure the girl is in his pay.   (Chorus)

Now, how I wish that when I die,
The swine that built this tub I'd find.
I'd drag him back from where he fries
To pump until this beggar's dry.   (Chorus)

If Noah'd had him for his ark,
Now, wouldn't that have been a lark.
From rising sun to getting dark,
The animals all hard at work.   (Chorus)

Sometimes when I am in me bed,
Thinkin' 'bout the day ahead,
I wish that I could wake up dead,
But "Pump!" is all I get instead.   (Chorus)

(Tony Goodenough, 1989 Shanty Crew Publishing,   
used with permission)

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