Saturday, April 12, 2014

Evanston: 'A Capitol Ship'

        That we are taking the train to the sea caused a reader to remember a sea chanty that her father used to sing.  She sings it still.
        The most relevant lyrics are:

        I’m off for the morning train
        to cross the raging main.
        I’m off to my love with a boxing glove
        10,000 miles away.

        Three weeks from today we will actually be off on an afternoon train.  Sans boxing glove.  My love will be with me.  And I expect to sail more than 10,000 miles.  Details.  The spirit is right, and I thank Nancy for bringing “A Capital Ship” to my attention.
        The full lyrics are below.  If they remind you of Lewis Carroll, they should because the author, Charles E. Caryll, an American businessman who was born a hundred years before I and died in 1920, wrote, among other things, DAVY AND THE GOBLIN:  OR WHAT FOLLOWED AFTER READING, ‘ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND.’
A Capital Ship
Charles E. Caryll

            A capital ship for an ocean trip
            Was the "Walloping Window Blind"
            No wind that blew dismayed her crew
            Or troubled the captain's mind
            The man at the wheel was made to feel
            Contempt for the wildest blow-ow-ow
            Tho' it oft appeared when the gale had cleared
            That he'd been in his bunk below

            So, blow ye winds, heigh-ho
            A-roving I will go
            I'll stay no more on England's shore
            So let the music play-ay-ay
            I'm off for the morning train
            To cross the raging main
            I'm off to my love with a boxing glove
            10,000 miles away

            The bos'un's mate was very sedate
            Yet fond of amusement too
            He played hop-scotch with the starboard watch
            While the captain tickled the crew
            The gunner he was apparently mad
            For he sat on the after ra-ra-rail
            And fired salutes with the captain's boots
            In the teeth of a booming gale

            The captain sat on the commodore's hat
            And dined in a royal way
            Off pickles & figs & little roast pigs
            And gunners bread each day
            The cook was Dutch and behaved as such
            For the diet he served the crew-ew-ew
            Was a couple of tons of hot-cross buns
            Served up with sugar and glue

            Then we all fell ill as mariners will
            On a diet that's rough and crude
            And we shivered and shook as we dipped the cook
            In a tub of his gluesome food
            All nautical pride we cast aside
            And we ran the vessel asho-o-ore
            On the Gulliby Isles where the poopoo smiles
            And the rubbily ubdugs roar

            Composed of sand was that favored land
            And trimmed with cinnamon straws
            And pink and blue was the pleasing hue
            Of the ticke-toe teaser's claws
            We sat on the edge of a sandy ledge
            And shot at the whistling bee-ee-ee
            While the rugabug bats wore waterproof hats
            As they dipped in the shining sea

            On rugabug bark from dawn till dark
            We dined till we all had grown
            Uncommonly shrunk when a Chinese junk
            Came up from the Torrible Zone
            She was stubby and square, but we didn't much care
            So we cherrily put to sea-ea-ea
            And we left all the crew of the junk to chew
            On the bark of the rubabug tree.