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Merchant's Island

New words by Charlie Ipcar 1999
Tune: My Love Is But a Lassie Yet

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Oh, the wind blew up 'bout nor'nor'east,
Blew right up on Monty's beach;
The men got drunk an' the women too
'Round the pub the rum jug flew!

We're kicking up Bob's a-dying,
Kicking up Bob's a-dying;
We're kicking up Bob's a-dying
Down on Merchants Island!

One thing that we know is true,
There's nothing like ol' Brett's home brew,
For on our toots we're pissed as newts
Down on Merchant's Island...


Now, Kendall's not one to complain,
When he's in the fog or rain;
He'll sniff the air an' if it's fair,
We're bound for Merchant's Island...


When Jeri's drained her final jar,
You'll find her clingin' to the bar,
With wheel adrift, sheets to the wind,
She'll need a tow back home ag'in...


No one can drink as much as Nor,
And still be standin' on the floor,
With decks awash an' a gale to face,
Hear him shout, "Splice the main brace!"...


Then, Barry blew in through the gate,
Drinkin' twice as fast for he come in late,
He raised that rum jug to his nose
"Tilt 'er up an' down she goes!"...


Then, Tom an' Linn was the last come by,
They never drank but they said they'd try;
They drank so much of the ale an' stout,
They closed the pub an' threw us out...


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This song is based on a fragment of the same title collected by Jennifer Puleston from fishermen in the Stonington, Maine, area in the early 1960's. There was no chorus and only two verses which we recall:

Oh, the wind blew up 'bout nor'nor'east,
Blew right up on Monty's beach;
The men got drunk and the women too
'Round the shack the pisspot flew!

Now, Sammy was a good old man,
But he could not make his rhubarb stand;
So he took it in his hand
Down on Merchant's Island...

Merchant's Island is a small island in the Northeast Corner of Penobscot Bay. The phrase "Kicking up Bob's a-dying" comes from the Patrick O'Brian sea novel series, featuring Captain Jack Aubrey and ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, and may be the title of a traditional dance tune but generally means raising Hell ashore. There is no relation to the names mentioned in my extended version of this song with a person or persons living or indisposed.

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