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Old soak

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 13, 2007

In Reply to: Old soak posted by R. Berg on May 13, 2007

: : : What does it mean if one says to another, "YOU WERE AN OLD SOAK AT THAT". Is this a navy term for something? I heard it being spoken by ex-royal navy people jokingly.

: : The meaning in the New World is Old Sot, Old Toper, Old Boozer. Here, perhaps, "You sure used to soak it up."
: : SS

: Traditionally, drinking and navies go together. All that grog, you know. Introduction of a grog ration (rum and water) aboard ship was a reform; before that, the drink was straight rum. Old song: "What shall we do with the drunken sailor..." ~rb

I'm a bit surprised, even if I ought not to be, that Ms. Berg knows this song. I heard it a long time ago, long ere I went to college. But I didn't know all those verses hereto appended.

What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
Earl-aye in the morning?

Way hay and up she rises
Way hay and up she rises
Way hay and up she rises
Earl-aye in the morning

1. Sling him in the long boat till he's sober,
2. Keep him there and make 'im bale 'er.
3. Pull out the plug and wet him all over,
4. Take 'im and shake 'im, try an' wake 'im.
5. Trice him up in a runnin' bowline.
6. Give 'im a taste of the bosun's rope-end.
7. Give 'im a dose of salt and water.
8. Stick on 'is back a mustard plaster.
9. Shave his belly with a rusty razor.
10. Send him up the crow's nest till he falls down,
11. Tie him to the taffrail when she's yardarm under,
12. Put him in the scuppers with a hose-pipe on him.
13. Soak 'im in oil till he sprouts flippers.
14. Put him in the guard room till he's sober.
15. Put him in bed with the captain's daughter*).
16. Take the Baby and call it Bo'sun.
17. Turn him over and drive him windward.
18. Put him in the scuffs until the horse bites on him.
19. Heave him by the leg and with a rung console him.
20. That's what we'll do with the drunken sailor.

There are some slight differences to be found in some versions. The "captain's daughter" is a "relative of the cat-o'-nine-tails."

You can hear the music, if you like, on more than one of the sites reported by Google.