Special performance by The Brandy Hole Shantymen

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Cartoonist Mike Peyton, has penned a new sea-shanty to mark the 50th anniversary of the Old Gaffers Association.

East Coast Old Gaffer will be sung by the Brandy Hole Shantymen in a number of ports and harbours when a fleet of gaff-yachts tours the UK later this year.

Why not join in with The Brandy Hole Shantymen’s rousing performance… 

East

Coast Old Gaffer


By Mike

Peyton

Chorus:

I’m a sailor, a sailor from Maldon Town way

I get all my pleasure when I’m under way

I may be commuting on Mondays

But I sail my old gaffer on Sundays



Verses:

When I board my old boat, swig up stays’l and throat,

slip the mooring, then haul in the sheets

I feel her lift to the seas, with a fair topsail

breeze, my life as a gaffer’s complete

As the wake of the boat fades behind me with only

horizon ahead


Oh, rather than pack up my sailing, I think I would

rather be dead!



I’ve sailed all over, from Orford to Dover, Boulogne

and Breskens as well 


I’ve brought up in the Quarters, and Walton

Backwaters, been sick as a dog with the swell

My blankets have often been sodden, in the bunk where

I rest my old head

But rather than pack up my sailing, I think I would

rather be dead!



Well, I’ve run past Shore Ends, for the bars of

Ostend, and sailed across the rolling North Sea

In Flushing I’ve dallied, in Calais I’ve rallied, to

pick up the odd duty free


I’ve seen the loom of the Varne from the Goodwins, the

Gabbard from off Longs’d Head

Oh rather than pack up my sailing, I think I would

rather be dead!



I’ve locked into the Basin, run aground in the Rays’n,

and a few other places as well,
 

I’ve crossed tacks with barges, begrudged harbour

charges, thanked God for the old Spitway Bell!


I’ve watched the grey seals on the Maplins as I’ve

tacked them past heaving the lead

Oh, rather than pack up my sailing, I think I would

rather be dead!



So I sail where I please, ‘cross the Estuary Seas, on

course for a lonely old creek

I’ve run for the Swale, to ride out a gale, then

cruised with fair winds for a week.


I’ve heard the shrill cry of the waders then watched

them flock high overhead

Oh, rather than pack up my sailing, I think I would

rather be dead!



I once loved a maid, a spot welder by trade, she was

fair as the saltings in bloom

The grey of her eyes matched the Estuary skies and I

loved her from April to June

On the day that we should have been married I raced

the Old Gaffers instead

Oh, rather than pack up my sailing, I think I would

rather be dead!  



Now the old days are gone, but my memories live on,

when only the weather was bad

I’ve sailed my last tack, I can only look back, and

remember the times that we had

With those halcyon days far behind me, and only

nostalgia instead

Oh rather than pack up my sailing, I think I would

rather be dead!

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