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Abdul Abulbul Amir

Percy French 1877


courtesy of

The sons of the Prophet are brave men and bold

And quite unaccustomed to fear,

But the bravest by far in the ranks of the shah,

Was Abdul Abulbul Amir.

If you wanted a man to encourage the van,

Or harass the foe from the rear,

Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout

for Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame

Iin the troops that were led by the Czar,

And the bravest of these was a man by the name

of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

One day this bold Russian, he shouldered his gun

And donned his most truculent sneer,

Downtown he did go where he trod on the toe

Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

"Young man," quote Abdul," has life grown so dull

That you wish to end your career?

Vile infidel know, you have trod on the toe

Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

So take your last look at the sunshine and brook

And send your regrets to the Czar

For by this I imply, you are going to die,

Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar."

Then this bold Mameluke drew his trusty skibouk,

Singing, "Allah! Il Allah! Al-lah!"

And with murderous intent he ferociously went

for Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

They parried and thrust, they side-stepped and cussed,

Of blood they spilled a great part;

The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes,

Say that hash was first made on the spot.

They fought all that night neath the pale yellow moon;

The din, it was heard from afar,

And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame,

of Abdul and Ivan Skavar.

As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life,

In fact he was shouting, "Huzzah!"

He felt himself struck by that wily Calmuck,

Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

The Sultan drove by in his red-breasted fly,

Expecting the victor to cheer,

But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh,

Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

There's a tomb rises up where the Blue Danube rolls,

And graved there in characters clear,

Is, "Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul

Of Abdul Abulbul Amir."

A splash in the Black Sea one dark moonless night

Caused ripples to spread wide and far,

It was made by a sack fitting close to the back,

of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.

A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps,

'Neath the light of the cold northern star,

And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,

Is Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.            

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.