Storming, the ropes flayed the skin off our hands
And as their cruel song the four winds roared
And fiendishly squealed the anchor chain,
There came the sudden cry, "Man overboard!"
And so, "Full speed aft! Halt the engines!
Save him, warm him on the spot!
If heís a man, pour it in him,
Rub it on her, if sheís not."
I regret, that I am doomed to tread
Dry land, and I cannot expect aid there.
No oneíll dash to save me in that manís stead
And lifeboat alarms wonít be declared,
But theyíll say, "Full speed ahead, wind is fair!
Gotta be in port on the hour!
Let that sonofabitch there
Get out on his own power!"
And so my ship will go and leave me there.
Its folk are higher than I can afford.
The watch watches ahead and does not care
That there had been a man fell overboard.
I see that ships past me go sailing,
Awaited by a friendly port -
God knows how many else fall flailing
From the main road overboard!
Let storms ring up and down the scale at sea,
But if Iím cast out there, I know Iíll meet
A captain lowering a lifeboat for me
And giving me dry ground under my feet.
By my clothes, they will hook me with rope -
Thus itís a plus to fall out when dressed -
And the edge of the boat, like hope,
I will seize with a death grip unguessed.
I am aboard, weíre on our way again
And Iím extended hands, cigarettes, souls -
And I am certain: if aught happens, then
A sailoríll toss me a life preserver after all.
True, their ship pitches from roof to floor,
And no breathers, with storms all around...
But, if a manís overboard -
Here they will not let him drown!