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The Flash Frigate


courtesy of

I sing of a frigate, a frigate of fame
And in the West Indies she bore a great name

For cruel, hard treatment of every degree
Like slaves in the galleys we ploughed the salt sea

At four in the morning our day's work begun
Come, lash up your hammocks, boys, every one

Seven turns with the lashing so neatly must show
And all of one size through a hoop they must show

The next thing we do is to holystone the decks
Mizzen-topmen from the forehatch their buckets must fetch

And its fore and main topmen so loudly they bawl
Come, fetch up your holystones, squilgees and all

 The decks being scrubbed and the rigging coiled down
It's clean up your bright work which is found all around

Your gun-caps and aprons so neatly must shine
And in white frocks and trousers you must all toe the line

The next thing we hear is "All hands to make sail
Way aloft!" and "Lay out!" and "Let fall!" is the hail

O, your royals and your skysails and moonsails so high
At the sound of the call your skyscrapers must fly

But now, my brave boys, comes the best of the fun
All hands about ship and reef topsails in one

O, it's "lay aloft, topmen," as the helm goes down
And it's "clew down your topsails," as the mainyard swings round

Trice up, and lay out, and take two snug reefs in one
And all in one moment this work must be done

Then man your head braces, topsail-halyards and all
And hoist away topsails as you let go and haul

Our second lieutenant, you all know him well
He comes up on deck and cuts a great swell

O, it's "bear a hand here," and "bear a hand there
And at the lee gangway he serves out our share

Now, all your bold seaman who plough the salt sea
Beware this frigate wherever she be

For they'll beat you and bang you till you ain't worth a damn
And send you an invalid to your own native land 

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.