Up Spirits: Ode to a Tot of Rum
There once was a time in H.M.Ships,
When the magic hour had come.
The leading hands of every mess
Prepared to collect the rum.
The smell of Jamaican filled the air
As the ritual began
A daily tot of Nelson’s Blood
Was a favourite to every man.
When the Rum Bosun stood, his measure poised
To serve every man his tot.
Two fingers always in the ‘cup ‘
Making sure that the ‘Queen ‘got her lot.’
The ‘ticker off’ was there, of course
His pencil at the ready,
With a sipper given from each man’s tot
His hand was no longer steady.
The rum rat sat, his eyes aglow
His whiskers twitching well
He liked his rum so much it seems
He could get pissed on the smell.
Sometimes the tots were passed around
As each man paid his debts
Favour, rubber, game of crib
Could cost a couple of wets.
Then came the time to sup the ‘Queens’
“God Bless Her “was the toast
A watchful eye, as each man supped.
So the Rum Bosun got the most.
Once the rum had been consumed
And nothing left to pour;
The dits began, as the ‘Grog’ took charge,
Of favourite runs ashore.
A feed, a fight, a couple of pints
Was part of a run ashore.
A game of darts was in there too
Then all night with a Pompey Lill.
No longer though, does the scent of rum
Pervade her Majesty’s boats.
No more to sup Lord Nelson’s Blood
And give the Queen her toasts.
So to all who drank Lord Nelson’s Blood
And heard the Klaxon’s blast
May old shipmates meet and share a wet
Spinning dits of the good times passed.
A toast then to Horatio
And another to the Queen.
And may we all, wherever we are
Remember where we’ve been!