Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

Let Her Go! (A Tramp Chanty) - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

'Er keel was laid in Seventy-four,

Let 'er go - let 'er go!

They built 'er cheap, an' they scamped 'er sore,
'Er rivets was putty, 'er plates was poor,
An' then come in the Plimsoll Line,
Or I wouldn't be singin' this song of mine.

Let 'er go!


She was cranky an' foul, she was stubborn an' slow

Let 'er go - let 'er go!

An' she shipped it green when it come to blow;
'Er crews was starved, an' the pay was low,
An' 'er bloomin' owners was ready to faint
At a scrape o' pitch or a penn'orth o' paint.

Let 'er go!


But she's been 'ere, an' she's been there

Let 'er go - let 'er go!

An' she's been almost everywhere;
An' whenever you'd see 'er,
With 'er rust-red hawse an' 'er battered old funnel,
All muck an' dirt from 'er keel to 'er gun'le.

Let 'er go!


She's earned 'er keep in a number o' climes,

Let 'er go - let 'er go!

She's changed 'er name a number of times
Which won't fit right into these 'ere rhymes;
But the name o' 'er now is the Sound o' Mull -
Built on the Tyne an' sails out of 'Ull.

Let 'er go!


'Er keel was laid in Seventy-four

Let 'er go - let 'er go!

An' a breaker's price was 'er price before;
The ships was scarce an' the freights did soar;
But she's fetched 'er fourteen pound a ton
On the Baltic Exchange since the war begun.

Let 'er go!


So she's doin' 'er bit, which we all must do

Let 'er go &mdash let 'er go!

An' whether she's old or whether she's new;
Don't make much odds to a war-time crew;
An' 'ooever's sunk, or 'ooever's drowned,
The Sound o' Mull keeps pluggin' around.

Let 'er go!


An' when she goes, by night or by day,

Let 'er go &mdash let 'er go!

Either up or down, as she likely may,
I only 'ope as somebody 'll say,
''Er keel was laid in Seventy-four,
She done 'er best, an' she couldn't do more;
She warn't no swell, nor she warn't no beauty,
But she come by 'er end in the way of 'er duty'.

Let 'er go!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010



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