Joseph Porter

Farewell To Forties

Trains and boats and planes combine in one blistering great eyesore, offshore at Cambois. This is the real Blyth Power.

As the steersman makes his landfall at the teeming harbour side
The morning mist is lifting off the sea
The sun is climbing by and we'll catch the early tide
If you'll down towards the galleys follow me

Red sails alone on the North Sea slicks as the tugboats turn for home
And now we've started now my admissions can begin
Red herrings thrown to your bloodhound bitch and the ring at the end of your nose
Unwilling martyrs now bid you spit into the wind

As forth across the water and drifting in between
The rusting hulls above the tidemark and the Russian submarines
To the northern score we're pitching in the breeze
Forth across the water we leaned into the turn
The lantern lights upon the quarter then the harbour mouth astern
As we ran towards the oil slicks and the sea

Beyond Dogger shoal where the burning gas from the drill rig platform glows
And on to the forties out here between the roses and the rue
Where the backfisch roll in their whalebone strakes as the heaving timbers groan
To pour on troubled waters here to hand there's oil enough for two

Pour oil on troubled waters the guiding albatross
The union flag upon the mainmast the saltire and the cross
All the land lovers lying in between pour oil on troubled waters
Murder and remorse the bucking deck in shreds beneath
Belies the placid smile embossed on all your figureheads serene
As we ran towards the oil slicks and the sea

Red burning rage when the storm blows up it'll probably last for days
Through reefs unchartered we'll be blown by the weather and the wind
Blue steel and grey in the eye of storms force slashed by the hurricane rain
That's where my heart is so we'll sink together or we'll swim

Farewell to forties until we come again
Great Arctic divers dip and tumble and the herring gulls complain
But we have time now to pass them over and leave them be
Farewell to forties as fast and fatal friends
On Aureole and Lusitania we may never ride again
Now it's time we turned together and left the sea
So it's down towards the galleys follow me
Down towards the galleys follow me