The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42400   Message #615806
Posted By: Charley Noble
24-Dec-01 - 11:11 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Worst Old Ship/Collier Brig
Subject: Lyr Add: THE COLLIER BRIG
I'm familar with a couple of songs Bob Roberts, the last of the Spritsail Bargemen, used to sing "Stormy Weather Boys," and "The Worst Old Ship." (Re-released on CD by Saydisc label, "Sea Songs & Shanties" basically recordings taken by Peter Kennedy in the 50s and 60s for the BBC), but I'm curious whether the songs are traditional or were composed by Bob. The two songs share the same basic tune and I first heard them from a Bristol friend Chez Watts.

The version I now sing has been slightly modified over the years, and includes verses from both songs:

(Traditional as sung by Bob Roberts Saydisc, CD SDL-405 Sea Songs & Shanties Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 2000)

The worst old brig that ever did weigh,
Sailed out of Harwich on a windy day;


And we're waiting for the day,
Waiting for the day,
We're waiting for the day
When we get our pay!

She was built in Roman times,
Held together with bits of twine...

The skipper's half drunk and the mate is too,
And the crew is fourteen men too few...

As we shoved off from the Surrey Dock,
The skipper caught his knickers in the main sheet block...

By Orford Ness she sprang a leak,
Hear her poor old timbers creak...

We pumped our way 'round Lowestoft Ness,
When the wind backed round to the west-sou'-west...

Through the Cockles to Cromer Cliff,
She's steering like a wagon with a wheel adrift...

Into the Humber and up to town,
"Pump, you bastards, pump or drown"...

Her coal was shot by a Keadby crew,
But her bottom was rotten and it all fell through...

So after all our fears and alarms,
We're all ended up in "The Druid's Arms."

So, we're waiting for the day,
Waiting for the day,
We're waiting for the day
When we get our pay! (2X)