Sailor's Farewell to his TOT!


Prior to the 17th Century, sailors in the Royal Navy were issued a gallon of beer per day.  But in 1655 this was replaced by a 1/2 a pint of rum perday.  For nearly 230 years this was the traditiuon. However, the Lords of the Admiralty abolished the tradition in 1970 and the last official issue of rum on board Royal Naval ships occurred on the 31st July 1970.

(With acknowledgement to the South African navy News No 6 of 2008)


(The first six verses sung to the tune of amazing grace and the last two to old Lang Syne)

You soothed my nerves and warmed my limbs
You cheered my dismal heart
Procured my wants, obliged my whims
And now it's time to part

'Mid endless perils of the deep
And miseries untold
You summoned sweet forgetful sleep
Cocooned me from the cold

Ten years ago the pound o'leaf
That cast its fragrant spell
About the ship expired in grief
And sadness of farewell

Though guests may find the pantry bare
Whene'er they chose to come
Your hospitality was there
A tot of Pusser's Rum

Two hundred years and more you filled
The storm-tossed sailors’ needs
Now you've been killed by spite distilled
From jealousy and greed

And petty clerks with scrawny necks
Who never saw a wave!
Nor felt the spray nor heaving decks
Consign you to your grave

Alas! However I protest
To save myself from hurt
They tell me that it's for the best
To keep us all alert

And so the time has come my friend
To take the final sup
Out tears are shed, this is the end





 This page created 20 Juy 2009