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Old Sailors

Old sailors sit and chew the fat
       'bout how things used to be
of the things they've seen
        and places they've been
When they ventured out to sea.

They remember friends from long ago
        and the times they had back then
of the money they've spilled
      and the beer they've swilled
In their days as sailing men.

Their lives are lived in days gone by
       with thoughts that forever last
of cracker-jack hats
       and bell-bottom blues
and the good times in their past.

They recall long nights with a moon so bright
       far out on a lonely sea
and the thoughts they had
       as youthful lads
When their lives were unbridled and free.

They know so well how their hearts would swell
        when the flag fluttered proud and free
and the stars and the stripes
        made such beautiful sights
as they plowed through an angry sea.

They talk of the bread ole' cookie would bake
         and the shrill of the boatsun's pipe
and how the salt spray fell
         like sparks out of hell
when a storm struck in the night.

They remember mates already gone
       who forever hold a spot
In the stories of old
        when sailors were bold
and lubbers were a pitiful lot.

They rode their ships through many a storm
        when the sea was showing its might
And the mighty waves
        might be digging their graves
as they sailed on through the night.

They speak of nights in a bawdy house
        somewhere on a foreign shore
and the beer they'd down
        as they gathered around
cracking jokes with a busty whore.

Their sailing days are gone away
        never more will they cross the brow
But they have no regrets
        for they know they've been blessed
'cause they honored their sacred vow.

Their numbers grow less with each passing day
        as their chits in this life are called in
But they've nothing to lose
        for they've all paid their dues
and they'll sail with their shipmates again.

I've heard them say before getting underway
      that there's still some sailin' to do
and they'll exclaim with a grin
      that their ship has come in
and the Lord is commanding the crew.

AUTHOR: Larry Dunn

This story was contributed: Don Fallon