Lost and Given Over [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in The Ways of Many Waters (1899).]


Lost and Given Over.

A mermaid’s not a human thing,
An’ courtin’ sich is folly;
Of flesh an’ blood I’d rather sing,
What ain’t so melancholy.
Oh, Berta! Loo! Juanita! Sue!
Here’s good luck to me and you —
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!
The seas is deep; the seas is wide;
But this I’ll prove whate’er betide.
I’m bully in the alley!
I’m bull-ee in our al-lee!

The Hoogli gal ’er face is brown;
The Hilo gal is lazy;
The gal that lives by ’Obart town
She’d drive a dead man crazy;
Come, wet your lip, and let it slip!
The Gretna Green’s a tidy ship —
Sing rally!
The seas is deep; the seas is blue;
But ’ere’s good ’ealth to me and you!
Ho, rally!

The Lord may drop us off our pins
To feed ’is bloomin’ fishes;
But Lord forgive us for our sins —
Our sins is most delicious!
Come, drink it up and fill yer cup!
The world it owes us bite and sup,
And Mimi, Ju-Ju, Sally;
The seas is long; the winds is strong;
The best of men they will go wrong —
Hi, rally! ri-a-rally!

The Bowery gal she knows ’er know;
The Frisco gal is silly;
The Hayti gal ain’t white as snow —
They’re whiter down in Chili.
Now what’s the use to shun the booze?
They’ll flop yer bones among the ooze
Sou’-west-by-Sou’ the galley.
The seas is green; the seas is cold;
The best of men they must grow old —
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!

All round the world, where’er I roam,
This lesson I am learnin’.
If you’ve got sense you’ll stop at home
And save the bit yer earnin’.
So hang the odds! It’s little odds,
When every ’eathen ’as ’is gods,
An’ neither two will tally:
When black and white drink, wimmin, fight —
In these three things they’re all alright —
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!

When double bunks, fo’castle end,
Is all the kind that’s carried,
Our manners they will likely mend —
Most likely we’ll be married.
But till sich time as that be done,
We’ll take our fun as we’ve begun —
Sing rally!
The flesh is weak; the world is wide;
The dead man ’e goes overside —
Sing rally! rally!

We’re given and lost to the girls that wait
From Trinity to Whitsund’y,
From Sunda Strait to the Golden Gate
An’ back to the Bay o’ Fundy;
Oh, it’s Mabel, Loo, an’ it’s Nancy-Poo,
An’ ’ere’s good luck, an’ I love you —
Sing rally!
Oh, it’s cents an’ dollars an’ somebody hollers —
The sun comes up an’ the mornin’ follers —
Sing rally!

We’re given an’ lost to the octoroon,
The Portugee cruiser painty,
The Chinkie gal with ’er eyes ’arf-moon,
An’ the Japanee darlin’ dainty.
Oh, it’s Tokio-town when the sun goes down,
It’s ’arf-a-pint and it’s ’arf-a-crown—
Sing rally!
’Er spars may lift an’ ’er keel can shift,
When a man is done ’e’s got to drift —
Sing rally! Ho, rally!

The Hoogli gal ’er face is brown,
The Hilo gal’s a daisy,
The gal that lives by ’Obart-town
She’d drive a dead man crazy.
So, pretty an’ plain, it’s Sarah Jane
’Uggin’ an’ kissin’ an’ “Come again!”
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!
The seas is deep; the seas is wide;
But this I’ll prove what else betide,
I’m bully in the alley,
Ho; Bullee in the Al-lee!

E. J. Brady, The Ways of Many Waters, Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1909 [first published 1899], pages 9-12

Editor’s notes:
Bowery = a neighborhood of Manhattan Island, in New York City, named after the street of the same name (from the Dutch “bouwerij”, meaning farm)

Chili = Chile; a country in South America

Chinkie = a Chinese person (may also refer to something that is Chinese in origin or style, e.g. a “Chinkie restaurant”)

Frisco = San Francisco; a major city of California, located on the western coast of the USA

Hayti = Haiti; a country in the Caribbean, occupying the western part of the island of Hispaniola (the eastern part of the island is occupied by the Dominican Republic)

Hilo = a city on the island of Hawaii

Hoogli = (also spelt Hooghly or Hugli) a channel of the Ganges River in India

Japanee = Japanese

’Obart = a vernacular spelling of Hobart (the capital city of Tasmania)

Portugee = Portuguese; someone from Portugal

Tokio = an alternative spelling for Tokyo (capital city of Japan)

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