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Song: “Constitution and Morgan”

Words: April Grant (c) 2015
Tune: Traditional (“Spanish Lady”/”The Pilots of Tiger Bay”)

The Morgan came to Boston harbor under a snowy press of sail,
Past Graves Island light, attended with two tugboats at her tail.
Anchored by Old Ironsides, which made the Morgan look quite small;
I thought I heard an old man say, “They’re damn well useless after all.

“What a big fat waste of money, now they’ve finished all their fun.
Though they once were mighty useful, here and now their time is done.

Old Ironsides said, “All day long, the children scamper on my decks,
College students try my rigging, just to break their silly necks.
Nobody loses limbs or eyes or takes a sword and slays his foe;
It’s nothing like Decatur’s time, or Isaac Hull’s, I’ll have you know.

“I’ve seen the time my full broadside made Guerriere with blood to run;
Though I once was mighty useful, here and now my time is done.”

The Morgan said, “Just yesterday, when off Stellwagen Bank we lay,
Fearlessly a whale came spouting round my sides in sport and play.
First we lowered boats and chased her till she wheeled and turned about,
Then she chased the boats right back until the daylight had run out.

“I’ve seen the time I’d try her blubber, then the blubber from her son;
Though I once was mighty useful, here and now my time is done.”

“Here we both lie in the harbor, clean and painted, spick and span,
Men and women keep us pretty, tell our tales as best they can.
People come from round the world who long the two of us to meet;
Being useless after all — yes, that’s our job, it’s pretty sweet.

“We’ve outlived our work, thank goodness, time for sitting in the sun.
Though we once were mighty useful, here and now our time is done.”

Written in homage to the Charles W. Morgan’s rebuilding and trip to Boston in 2013.

The words in a printable Google document are here.