The Steam Packet

Oh, what a row, what a rumpus and a rioting,
Those endure, you may he sure, who go to sea,
A ship is a thing that you never can be quiet in,
By wind or steam 'tis all the same, 'twas so with me,
Wife and daughter on the water said they'd like to sail a bit,
I consented, soon repented, and began to rail a bit;
Papa, now pray do go to day the weather's so inviting, look!
I'm sure 'twill do such good to you they feed you like a fighting cock.
     Oh, what a row, what a rumpus and a rioting,
     Those endure, you may he sure, who go to sea,
     A ship is a thing that you never can be quiet in,
     By wind or steam 'tis all the same, 'twas so with me,

In a boat I go afloat as clumsy as an elephant,
So spruce and gay to spend the day and make a splash,
Indeed it's true, I did it too, for stepping in I fell off on't,
And overboard, upon my word, I went slap dash
Wife squalling, daughter bawling, every thing provoking me,
Called a hog or poodle dog, all the sailors joking me,
Dripping wet, in a pet, with many more distressibles,
A fellow took a boat-hook and caught my inexpressibles.
     Oh, what a row, etc.

Such a gig, without a wig on deck I was exhibited,
Laughed at by the passengers, and quizzed by the crew,
Raved and swore that on shore, I'd rather have been gibbeted,
Than thus half drowned by all around be roasted too,
Danger past, and dry at last, indulging curiosity,
I stared to see the vessel flee with such a strange velocity,
Pray said I, to one hard by, what power can impel us so?
The smoky devil goes by steam at least the sailors tell us so.
     Oh, what a row, etc.

Not a sail to catch a gale, yet magically on I went,
'Gainst wind and tide, and all besides, in wonder quite,
Cast my eyes to the sky, and tall as London's monument,
I saw the kitchen chimney smoke as black as ink.
People toiling, roasting, boiling, bless us such a rookery,
They'd soup, and fish, and fowl, and flesh, a London-Tavern cookery
Then the noise of men and boys, a din to rival an hubbub,
I thought the crew were devils too, the master captain BeIzebub
     Oh, what a row, etc.

Wife to me so lovingly says now's your time to pick a bit,
The dinner's serving up below, and we must fly,
Says I, my dear, I'm very queer, I'm going to be sick a bit,
I'm seized with a dizziness, I faint, I die
I cannot eat, I loathe my meat, I feel my stomach failing me,
Steward, hasten, bring a basin, what the deuce is ailing me,
If 'tis handy, get some brandy, the malady to quench unable,
Down I lay for half a day, in pickle quite unmentionable.
     Oh, what a row, etc.

As to dinner I'm a sinner if I touch a bit of it,
But anchor cast and home at last, I'm safe once more,
In a packet such a racket, crowding to get quit of it,
Like cattle on a coaster we're hailed on shore
With, how d'ye do, and how are you, I see you're better physically
Zounds, be still, I'm very ill, you're always talking quizzically
Some with glee may go to sea, but I shall not be willing, sirs,
For such a day, again to pay just two pounds fifteen shillings, sirs.
     Oh, what a row, etc.

© Golden Hind Music