According to the Act

Words and music: Traditional
(Recorded by Tom Lewis on 360 All Points of the Compass)

If you want a merchant ship to roam the seas at large,
You won't have any trouble if you have a good discharge,
Signed by the Board of Trade and everything exact,
There's nothing goes on in a 'Limey' ship contrary to The Act.

Haul well your weather main-brace and ease away the lee,
Hoist jibs and topsails - let the ship go free,
Hurrah, boys, hurrah - we sing the jubilee,
Damn the Royal Navy lads, a merchant ship for me.

When you join a merchant ship you hear The Articles read -
They tell you of your pork and beef, your butter and your bread,
Your coffee, tea and cocoa, boys, your peas and beans exact,
There's nothing goes on in a 'Limey' ship contrary to The Act.

Now, 'watch and watch' the first day out is contrary to the Act,
At ten days out yez all lay-aft to get your lime-juice whack,
Fetch out your "Handy Billy", boys, and clap it on the tack,
For we're going to raise the mainsail all according to The Act

It's up on deck, m'bully boys, with many's the curse we go,
Awaiting for eight bells to strike that we might go below,
Eight bells is struck, the watch is called, the log is hove exact,
"Relieve the wheel! Go below!"; according to The Act.

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