The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137101   Message #3169494
Posted By: Ross Campbell
12-Jun-11 - 04:56 PM
Thread Name: Fleetwood & Fishing: Songs of the Trawling Trade
Subject: Lyr Add: SILENT WALKABOUT (Ron Baxter)
Silent Walkabout                                                
(Ron Baxter)
Tune: Traditional (Our Sarah's Geeten a Chap)

I signed off the "Broadway" - before I got the sack!
I told the ruddy Skipper I wasn't coming back.
Told him he was a bastard, a web-footed one as well -
An' before I'd sail wi' him again, I'd see him roast in hell.

        Now it's "Any work today, Mister,
        Any work today?
        Don't give us the 'walkabout' -
        Any work today?"

Had a week or two ashore, till my money it had gone,
But when I went down for a ship, I found summat was wrong;
Found that I'd been given the "Silent Walkabout" -
No-one wanted to know me, they wouldn't hear me shout.

Went down to the Labour b'roo, to sign there, on the roll;
"Out of work? But you signed off! I'm sorry, but no dole!"
So I wandered down to Deaduns, to try and cadge a beer;
But the landlord turned and said to me, "Gerrout, no bumming here!"

After fourteen days of trying, then the word it went around;
My walkabout was over, and a berth for me was found -
On a rotten old coal-burner, built in 19-God-knows-when,
So I picked up my "donkey's breakfast", and went trawling once again;

        No more "Any work today, Mister,
        Any work today?
        Don't give us the walkabout,
        Any work today?"

Sung by Mike Huntington.

Fishermen could be punished for any manner of indiscretions by being banned from going to sea and thus prevented from earning a living for weeks on end. This was known as the "silent walkabout". If you fell out with one skipper, you fell out with them all!