Garrett (garote) wrote,

Hyarr harr harrrr

In the old game Ultima IV, you had "conversations" with people by prompting them with keywords, usually "NAME", "JOB", and "BYE", as well as other words drawn from their replies to these. Here's the one for a sailor:

NAME: Sailor
pronoun: He
LOOK: A scruffy sailor
JOB: I am a sailor!
HEALTH: Salty.
SAIL: Oh, a sailor's life is the life for me,
LIFE: As I sail across the bounding sea!
query: The rest?
YES: And never ever ever do I worry 'bout the weather, for the weather never ever did a thing for me!
NO: Oh.

That happy little rhyme has a long history. It's an old British navy traditional called "The Sailor's Hornpipe", originally performed in bare feet on the wet deck of a ship. Adults today recall it being sung by a Dodo in the animated Disney version of 'Alice In Wonderland'. The song goes:

Oh, a sailor's life is the life for me,
How I love to sail o'er the bounding sea.
And I never, never, ever do a thing about the weather,
For the weather never ever does a thing for me!

In the 1800's, a schoolteacher in the Yukon by the name of Charlotte Selina Bompas extended the ditty into a short patriotic song that her native students could perform. She called it "A British Sailor's Song (With Action)". The first verse of her version goes:

Oh, a sailor's life is the life for me,
On my own man-of-war on the briny sea,
And I'll join the brave, the gallant, the free,
And I'll serve my King and Country.

(At the last line 'I'll serve' the children bow and open their hands as for service.)

And the last verse goes:

And when duty calls,
Jack says ever 'Aye, aye, Sir!'
And he'll stand to his guns
Till right wins the day,
And 'What matter,' says Jack,
'Should my heart's blood pay?
For I'll die for my King and Country!'

(At 'I'll die' all fall down motionless.)

It would be strange sight for modern eyes to see a chorus of native Yukon children singing on stage about dying for the British crown. Dig that crazy imperialism.

Anyway, here's a MIDI version you can blast out your computer and shout "arrrr!!" over, to scare your co-workers.

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