Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 69 pages of information about Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs.

THE YARN OF THE “NANCY BELL.”

  ’Twas on the shores that round our coast
    From Deal to Ramsgate span,
  That I found alone, on a piece of stone,
    An elderly naval man.

  His hair was weedy, his beard was long,
    And weedy and long was he,
  And I heard this wight on the shore recite,
    In a singular minor key: 

  “Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
    And the mate of the Nancy brig,
  And a bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,
    And the crew of the captain’s gig.”

  And he shook his fists and he tore his hair. 
    Till I really felt afraid;
  For I couldn’t help thinking the man had been drinking,
    And so I simply said: 

  “Oh, elderly man it’s little I know
    Of the duties of men of the sea,
  And I’ll eat my hand if I understand
    How you can possibly be

  “At once a cook, and a captain bold,
    And the mate of the Nancy brig,
  And a bo’sun tight and a midshipmite,
    And the crew of the captain’s gig.”

  Then he gave a hitch to his trousers, which
    Is a trick all seamen larn,
  And having got rid of a thumping quid,
    He spun this painful yarn: 

  “’Twas in the good ship Nancy Bell
    That we sailed to the Indian sea,
  And there on a reef we come to grief,
    Which has often occurred to me.

  “And pretty nigh all o’ the crew was drowned
    (There was seventy-seven o’ soul),
  And only ten of the Nancy’s men
    Said ‘Here!’ to the muster roll.

  “There was me and the cook and the captain bold,
    And the mate of the Nancy brig,
  And the bo’sun tight and a midshipmite,
    And the crew of the captain’s gig.

  “For a month we’d neither wittles nor drink,
    Till a-hungry we did feel,
  So, we drawed a lot, and, accordin’ shot
    The captain for our meal.

  “The next lot fell to the Nancy’s mate,
    And a delicate dish he made;
  Then our appetite with the midshipmite
    We seven survivors stayed.

  “And then we murdered the bo’sun tight,
    And he much resembled pig;
  Then we wittled free, did the cook and me,
    On the crew of the captain’s gig.

  “Then only the cook and me was left,
    And the delicate question, ’Which
  Of us two goes to the kettle?’ arose,
    And we argued it out as sich.

  “For I loved that cook as a brother, I did,
    And the cook he worshipped me;
  But we’d both be blowed if we’d either be stowed
    In the other chap’s hold, you see.

  “‘I’ll be eat if you dines off me,’ says Tom,
    ‘Yes, that,’ says I, ’you’ll be,’—­
  ‘I’m boiled if I die, my friend,’ quoth I,
    And ‘Exactly so,’ quoth he.

  “Says he, ’Dear James, to murder me
    Were a foolish thing to do,
  For don’t you see that you can’t cook me,
    While I can—­and will—­cook you!’

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook