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Read About The History of Bawdy Song

Be Warned
You are about to enter the index to the RUDE and BAWDY songs, so loved by the Naval O D.

The songs listed below are all Sexually explicit
They are usually very Offensive
Especially to Landlubbers & Landsman who have
No Sea Time

Nozzers or Skin

To Enter


~ + ~

An Ode on the Word

In the days of old when sailors were bold, and seldom if ever contented.
They would moan and they'd curse in prose and in verse, and consort with ladies they rented.

Twas then I am told, when money was gold, that men spoke in a manner descriptive,
for alas or alack, you were never a-back, if you spoke as a plain, simple native.

But time has now passed, and the officer class, - me thinks-wants to sound so much better.
So they found that they could, and most of them would, converse in black English letter.

Well words in such script, don't fall from the lip, when they are short or plain and native.
So they added some vowels, plastered syllables by trowel, till their speech was indeed most creative.

Well before you'd say goose, the terms that we use, were now said to be wicked and bawdy.
Although we knew in our heads, that what we still said, was practical, concise and not lordly.

Till along came the yobs', with foul gutter gobs, who thought themselves so much the better,
For they are the sons and the daughters of those, who speak in thy black English letter.

But folks never mind, if such words make you blind, as long as you know when to use 'em.
But I'm sorry to say, you meet more everyday, who prefer to behave in a way that's (errr) gruesome.
- © B.Scott




The songs are listed by the first lines of verse & chorus It is also the intention to provide a thematic or subject listing

Titles are in Bold Text
First lines are in Normal  Text
First Chorus line in Italic Text

Select Your Song

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M 



 Abraham the Sailor

 Alphabet Song (OD's Version)

  An Engineer Told Me before he died - Sports Run Dit - Working Song

Barnacle Bill The Sailor

Big Tits and Little Tits - Bawdy

Caviar Comes From the Virgin Sturgeon - Bawdy

Caviar Song - Bawdy

Dance like Biffo the Bear - Monologue, Bawdy

Dirty Little Shithouse - Monologue, Bawdy

Do Your Balls Hang Low Risque

Down our Street - Bawdy

The Engineer's Song - Popular Sports Run Dit - Working Song

Fisherman, fisherman - Traditional Dit - Working Song

Good Morning, Mr Fisherman - Traditional Dit - Working Song


Heartbreak Hotel - Short dit
(Fragment - Can you help with therest please)

I came you came - dit

I'll never forget the smell of her sweat - Dit

It's the same the whole world over - dit


Leprosy - Black

Lobster Song - Trad Bawdy Dit - Working Song

My Favorite Things - Dit

Magic Moments - Dit

  Now This is Number One

OD's Alphabet - Bawdy Dit

Remember the Night - see Fragments F8

Roll me Over in the Clover - Bawdy Somg & Participation Dit

Salome -

Sexual Life of A Camel

Soggy Dog End and a Used French Letter - Bawdy

Since my baby left me - dit

Singing Ro Tiddly Oh - Traditional Dit - Working Song

She stood on the bridge at midnight -

Smally Boys are Cheap Today -

These Foolish Things - Bawdy

There's a dirty little shithouse - Bawdy

Who's that knocking on my door

When my balls ache - Dit

Where do you go to my lovely - Monologue, Bawdy

You Talk Like Marlene Deitritch - Ditty

You make me feel so lonely - dit


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A History of Bawdy Song

In the early centuries our language had many descriptive terms to describe the things that surround us. As we geerally can show in our family tres an Agricultural labourer or two, or perhaps a small holder or farmer. Such items things were typically or particularly, concerning things on the farm and in nature. Naturally sailors living in an all male envoironment had no hesitation in using such descriptive language without respect to social considerations. Similarly, these same sailors loved a good song and were fond of subjects relating to the sea or sentimental ballads of the home. In thinking of home you think of your sweet hearts, loved ones and of course sex. So bawdy songs were naturally born -

As shown in the poem above, sailors influenced by there 'betters' reserved such songs and words for every day usage and seldom used them in the areana of entertainment such as at the Forebits or the evening sing around concerts, unless they were deliberately introduced for their comic earthy, appeal..

When studying many of the bawdy songs that now abound, you will find them rhytmic and generally repetitive. Indeed well suited to accompany the drudgery of the work at hand. Sailors quickly found such 'stories' easy to use, and divertive, from the drudgery of the many tasks, required aboard with the work aboard ship, whilst the amusing aspects of each song were an addittional appeal. In hauling ropes or working the handles of pumping engines. Yes folks - the bawdy song was not only born, it had a very deliberate purpose.

Such work songs, often very bawdy and descriptive in content, are known from autobiographical accounts to have been used to accompany work aboard ship and the evidence conected with the Naval shanty 'Drunken Sailor' is particularly strong in this context. A good clean ship scrubbing song was 'The Lobster.' often used by us in the latrines etc as junior seaman.

In contrast the evening entertainments aboard the sailing ship, at the forebits during the dog watches, would encourage a different style of story song known as a ballad, sometimes sung, sometimes spoken, they would be about most any subject and often favoured historical events, danger, intrigue and scandel. The men would welcome sentmental tales of home. Whilst jigs and poular dance tunes, allowed the sailors to burn of extra energy, but never would the short everyday dits or the songs that were used at work, bawdy or not be used in this context. (Generally in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth century, one of the most popular series of folk songs that were preserved, concerned a lass called Lady Margaret or character called Robin Hood, and so it was aboard ship.

With the passing of the sailing ship and the extinction of such labourous tasks, by the introductionof winches and cranes. We find a shift in the use of old work songs with many of the risque items gravitating to the tap room, beer shop, and brothels that abounded around naval ports.

Yet also in the latter years of the age of sail we note that the Public Schools such as Eton and Rugby , were commonly attracting the sons of senior military and naval men. The boys naturally thought themselves big if they sang the songs they heard their fathers sing in the tap room. Henceforth such songs quickly became associated with the rougher (more manly) field sports such as rugby. Thus we can note that the civillian Rugby song was born to exist in parralell with the waning days of the sailing ship.

Soon with the passing of sail, and with no physical sail drill to keep the sailors fit, so they too were encouraged by their officers to play field sports etc and now with the birth of the iron/steel ship and steam; ships were being complements included a clubswinger. Inevitably, this unfathomable need for young officers to 'be one of the boys' or to be liked, particularly on the sports field, then the example of the officer class from those public schools was soon to be found duplicated in the services. The old bawdy work songs now called Rugby songs, had a new lease of life.

Such male only songs, blossomed during the First World War, since then there has been a constant shift in social patterns and entertainments, both ashore and on ship. Now on the messdeck and in Fleet Canteen, we find for the very first time these bawdy songs songs being sung, where men congregated in large numbers, (The Fleet Canteen, The Pussers Bus) We even find them being copied into the sailors own ditty books.

Bawdy songs were now being sung wherever an all male company congregatted. The exception was in the formal Sods Operas. although comical risque or suggestive songs were often popular, particularly when a few tinnies had been imbibed. (Such as The Twins etc.) However the informal Sods Operas of the messdecks often had their own class of bawdy song, which was often more popular if they used innuendo rather than direct swear words. (Sailors Wives, being a case in point), whilst on the ratings messdeck the sports bawdy songs were in very much in use as they were on any sports run ashore.

Despite the general civillian and ancient folklore sports influences to the Bawdy Song. Many of these have a very real naval identity. Still distinguished after countless years of the folk influence of 'chinese whispers', changing and altering their texts. Indeed many of the oldest traceable naval songs which have a clear usage, are in the bawdy category of maritime song.

Indeed such is the fascination of bawdy song to the modern sailor that new songs are still being crafted onto the backs of pop songs Such as Where do you Go To My Lovely and Rolf Harris'es, Two Little Boys.


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Last Edit: November 2012  
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