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You are at Home : Fragments

Readers often write in with queries we cannot answer with authority or other examples or references - Can any reader help to complete these items or add  anything to them. Particularly their tunes.

Wanted - One Liners
or short rhymes -
Particularly those
sung to
Bugle Calls
Does anybody remember singing or reciting,
Any songs or dit's whilst doing PT or Gun Drills
Any Clean Ship Songs?? ....   




 To Complete the following Fragments With Words and Tunes



I am an ex-RAN
One Christmas, between 1957 & 1964 John Magor worked Retard leave, but it was customary, for those remaining on board to entertain each other.

Victualed on that occasion in the CPO's and PO's mess. The entertainment party performed a very raucous, rude and disgusting play called "Blue Light and the Seven Dwarfs".
It was so popular that it was repeated several times thereafter to the full ship's company, including the Wardroom.

Sadly John has lost his copy of the script,

Can anybody help fill in the basic plot and story or loan him a copy of the script.

All the parts were obviously, played by males. Just like in Shakespeare's day.



The enquiry here is to complete the words and Tune of a ditty sung during the Gulf War, which roughly goes

Tits first, fanny later, I ain't no matelot slag,
Don't you be making me pregnant,
I go to work in the morning.

Said to have been written by a Pompey rating about a 'Swilly Girl'

In Naval Language a 'Swilly Girl' is tantamount to a slag,
Or what in the olden days would be called a 'Fireship' - Vide the song, 'She had a dark an rolling eye, her hair hung up in ring-a-lets, a flash girl, one of the rakish kind!'

The term 'Swilly Girl', takes its rise from a Post War house building program me in Plymouth. Where land near the Devonport dockyard was taken up for re-development.

The development, was severely under-funded and few facilities for the younger ones were provided or installed. The Swilly area or estate, as it was known, quickly became the place where you didn't want to live, and became the residence of economically challenged families, characterized by the profusion of burnt out cars, prostitution and violence.

It was subsequently renamed the 'North Prospect', but was  never to shake-off the title or reputation of Swilly.

Being close to the dockyard, its boozers were a magnet to any Young Jack's with a bit of money to burn, on an up-harbour night, way back in the 60's and early 70's

The following ditty long since recorded, is  probably un-related to the above item and could scarcely be called a traditional Navy song, but it was originally collected from a sod's opera sketch, where the character 'female' and her pimp 'male' outlined the 'benefits' of a 'Swilly Girl'. Ending up on the repeat with a waltz. - Subsequently it has been heard as part of the nationalistic part of the Oggie Song choruses See Oggie Song

In today's Navy, this Term is now applied to any girl "who not only like a good time with a sailor' but is also free and easy". Irrespective, of which Naval or Sea faring Port she lives in - Pompey, Devonport, Glasgee etc..

Tune: Too ra Loora Loora as sung by Bing Crosby
Want to live in Swilly, you must be f***g bent;
To live in council housing and never pay the rent.
A place so full of scrubbers, with pimps and w**kers too,
But when it come to fighting, they'd like to piss all over you!

So come you up to Swilly, which isn't so F 'ing bad,
Our girls are free and easy, with knickers that ain't ironclad,
Their skirts are shorter than mini's, their knockers will titalise(vitalise),
Though their amorous aims, lead to maternity claims, its a Swilly girl for you: - or two - - or three ---, or four! - Do you  repeat from top






















Can anyone help with a very old song about Naval Battles -
But one you may remember.
Any fragment of memory appreciated.

'K.W.' says this item was known aboard HMS Alcide,
It was sung (or danced), (Or performed) with scarves on arm.
Each scarf would be moved to represent victories. - Any ideas please get in touch.



Ian Taylor recalls this fragment from service aboard HMS Lion in the Med in 1960

Does anybody recognise it and know the tune

That party from Algiers

That Party from Algiers, I've known her through the years,
The mem’ry brings back tears, she’s syphed up to the ears.

Now they’re taking me to Bighi, just because my pipe is leaky,
From that party hale and hearty, from that party from Algiers.


Not For Liverpool I'm Dreaming

This is a parody of the Liverpool sea song ' Fare Thee Well' or The Leaving of Liverpool.

What is required are the naval verses used by the convoy escorts in WW2 that operated out of Liverpool.

The words above are used and they probably go to the song,  'Its not for Liverpool I'm Dreaming; but for my darling I am dreaming of you.

This Fragment is remembered from HMS Wizard in 1949 - Where the crew was playing cards. The losing teams forfeit was to sing a song - One of the songs then sung, was about Scapa Flow in the pre-war years and the ships that would be seen there.
There is a similarity in these words to the favorite Shes a Tiddly Ship - the lines ending 'This four funnel bastatrd is getting me down' but in this instance it is thought to be different.

Tune - Possibly On top of Old Smokey or similar

In the text I have changed the first line from the original shown in brackets so as to work with the tune..

There were ships like the Rodney, The Hood and Renown,
(There were ships like the Nelson, Rodney, Repulse and Renown,)
But we always remember the ones that went down.


The following item, may simply be a one-liner or short dit.
If so can any body please tell us which

Also - Who was John Dory's navy? - We know that Fred Karno's navy, represented the chaps in the RN Patrol Service based at Lowestoft, but is this the same ot different = Please Help

We are John Dory's Navy, we never go to sea,
We cannot fight, we cannot fuck, no bloody use are we!
But when we get to Malta, the C in C will say,"
Mein Gott, Mein Gott, what a fucking fine lot are the boys of the MTB's"


This fragment which was sung in the RN in the 1920's, but desperately needs a tune, and more words. All suggestions appreciated.  Although the following could be the whole song, but my gut feeling is that it s a partial item, with a few key lines gone astray.
If anyone recall or remembers hearing it - even in part, I would appreciate the contact

Jem Mace was a famous boxer in Victorian times who last appeared in the ring in 1909

She can dance and sing, she can do the highland fling,
Fought Jem Mace and spoiled his face in a two foot six inch ring.

She had a big glass eye and when she laughs she makes you cry
As the juice runs down from her snotty nose, like jam from a rhubarb pie.

 Oh she dresses like a lady, and her cloths are made of silk,
But when her snotter runs,  its like a stinking whelk.

Oh I tell you she was mad Got a face like a four shilling crab,
And India - Rubber lips like the rudders of a ship.
Yes I tell you she was mad


At ten to twelve each forenoon,
Since the Navy first began,
Jack drinks the health of Nelson
From Jutland to Japan.
For breakfast they gave us a raft,
With a chicken perched proud on the top,
In a sea of train smash, it sailed this fine craft,
Oh why can't they give me a draft.

Help needed by Charles Giles with this song, used as the shells are transported from magazine to deck

Also Needed are any of the sods operas dits 'The GI's Weddng - The GI's Church Parade Script for Pickle Night

Tune - Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
Load the Hoist with AA Practice; Tra la la, la, la la la.

T’was, on Falmouth sea shore,
And, Mary lay a-sleeping,
That, in lust and in love,
Our, Jaunty went a-creeping.
They walk round the dockyard,
They roar and they shout.
They shout about things,
They know nothing about.
Lend us a quid, do us a sub,
Give us a rub of your burberry
F 11

The following is possibly pre war and part of a longer dit Help needed please.

Seaman Gunner do not weep,
It was not me that shagged your sheep,
It was that Stoker down below,
The dirty rotten so and so

Alternate line from Val Ashpool

It was a Stoker 2nd Class that shagged that wooley bastards arse

Another version, from Paul Collins with thanks, circa 1983-84, it is said to be based on an old Irish Poem with more lines - Any ideas??

It was Not me that shagged that Sheep,
It was that Stoker down below,
Who shagged that sheep at Scapa Flow,
I'll have you know.



Maybe this item is a bit of a longshot, but would appreciate some help. It was sung in Ww2 Ensign Sidney List USN aboard the USS LST 452

The man who took a ship(shit) for himself
I'm the man who can, can you (canoe).

Angels of Queen Street
All dressed in white

Funny Little Fellow, wears his sisters clothes.
Don't know what they call hiim, But I think he's one of those

See - Gibraltar National Anthem - on the 'Song Pages'


Help also needed - to get a rope round this one. Does anybody know the full Naval Version of the Furrey Dance.

Tune - Cornish Floral Dance
All the Chiefs and the Wrens were dancing,
Jack was getting a feed of chuff.

There is a man on our lower deck, He is called Jaunty Cross.
If I had my will of him I’d throw him overboard.

Tune - Fly me to the moon
Fly me to Neeson let me play anmongst the bars
in and out the Starlight...


Unrelated fragment to F17.

Tune: Everyones gone to the moon
Cans full of teepol, never foam,
Long handed scrubbers stand alone
Everyone's gone to Neesoon


The PQ 17 Song

Can Any body supply the rest of the ditty please

The first line 'convoy to scatter' was the standard signal, given by the convoty commodore, when the escorts had to leave their charges, to deal with a major emergency situation, such as a raider. In this case it came in the form of the Tirpitz.

Tune: Onward Christian Soldiers

Convoy is to scatter, in fear we heard the shout,
Convoy is to scatter, the Tirpitz she is about.

  Last Update : February 2013
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