The Anti Shanty

Take yer shanties and shove em.

Take yer white foam flying.

Take yer fair winds blowing.

Take yer furrows following fucking freely.

And shove em.


Yer songs about masts and sails

and rolling, rollicking singing and fun in gail’s.

Phoney fallacious frigging fantasy folklore.

Unreal figures dancing and prancing.

Shove em. 


The truth is filth and fury

lacking in glory longest days worked,

alcohol, drugs and syphilis.

Rampant masturbation, 

And loveless connotation,

So take your romantic notions

and fuck em.


Ive lost more shipmates to alcohol

then to vagaries of romance.

Ive seen more marriages broken

kids from families merely token.

So take your ideas and shove em. 


Ive been in hurricanes and ferocious seas

and people spew and break their bones.

Others drown there aint no Davey Jones.

There aint no dancing and tunes on the fiddle

Young lad can’t abide 

so lonely commits suicide.

Men going to war for broken means

getting killed for monies dreams.

Your romancing bollox is just a disease.


Ships owned by uncaring twats.

And when your castaway….

it aint on a pacific island 

with a new chum called Friday,

its being put on the dole to rot without pay.

So take your unrealities and shove em.


Ive sailed every sea and ocean

And I’ve never seen the emotion

of  jolly shanties and rolling breakers.

Ive seen wales and albatross 

and freezing icebergs. 

But none of that is worth a lump

When yer mates arms ripped off in a pump.


Ive worked in engine rooms 

Where great machines trade.

At 45 degrees of the Centigrade. 

And boilers with steam

Where I heard my mates scream

as burns covered their bodies.

So take yer weird notions noddy. 


Sleepless nights in heavy weather

working hard to keep it together.

Exhausts lagged with asbestosis 

Cleaning chemicals to cause sarcomas

and cheap booze to bring cirrhosis.

With isolation to promote psychosis

Ive seen all that and you can 

shanty for shit and shove it. 

◄ Son

The Rock ►


Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Sun 31st Mar 2019 17:38

Powerful in its torrent of tidal misery. But it's always human nature
to make the best of bad things whilst accepting the reality of the worst - so graphically and impressively set out in this "anti" blog.
The following lines may serve as an example of my thinking:
You can keep yer steam boat racin'
But gimme the run in a gale
Of a well geared able clipper
What is driven by snow-white sail;
For I've known the thrill of a pilin' sea,
And the sky In a snow-flecked gown,
With fourteen knots in her windbag
When she's running her easting down.

Profile image


Sun 31st Mar 2019 12:47

So much strength and power in this Phil. A sort of brutality to counter the romance of the high seas. All very different from the yachting fraternity version. To add to all this is the smell of diesel I remember at least.


Profile image

Martin Elder

Sun 31st Mar 2019 12:46

I certainly catch your passion in this piece Phil.
Nice one

Profile image

trevor homer

Sun 31st Mar 2019 12:05

I love the irreverence of this work - I can hear Shane Magowan and The Pogues giving it large - brutal honesty. Thanks

<Deleted User> (21487)

Sun 31st Mar 2019 11:56

Your powerful, driving poem demands attention, it grips from beginning to end.


If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message