Launch The Lifeboat

(Mike Sparks)

Launch the lifeboat, launch the lifeboat try and save a soul or two
On the lifeboat, on the lifeboat, on our valiant crew

These disaster songs all start with some date and any one will do
Let's have the eighteenth of October in the year of forty two
A ship is drifting rudderless, it's crew is wracked with fear
The Captain he's a bastard, it's the worst storm of the year

Word goes round the village there's ship out in distress
Now if they don't get the lifeboat launched there'll be a dreadful mess
The crewmen rise up from their beds, some rise from the alehouse floor
And the wreckers get their handcarts out and gather on the shore

And when the crew is gathered and the numbers go around
A tragedy, the lifeboat crew a member short is always found
But there's always some poor mother's son who doesn't know the score
Till he's wearing a sou-wester and he's three miles off the shore

The story then continues full of travail grief and pain
Full of man and muscle up against the blinding wind and rain
The lifeboat's never seen again, but neither is the ship
How do they know what happens, no one ever comes back from a trip

The women gather on the quay to mourn the lifeboat crew
For in songs about disasters that's what women always do
The children gather wistfully around their mother's knee
And the Coxswain's cocker spaniel Rex gazes sadly out to sea

So there you have a sinking ship adrift out in the storm
The young man in the lifeboat crew is in such songs, the standard norm
The women and the children the analogy prolong
And there was always some daft bugger there to write the whole thing in a song

2003 Mike Sparks

This song appears on the CD 'Going Round Again'