You have seen him in the street rolling round on groggy feet,
You have seen him clutch the pavement for support,
You have seen him arm in arm with some girl of doubtful charm,
Who was leading Johnny safely into port.
You have shuddered in disgust as he grovelled in the dust,
You’ve revolted when you’ve seen him on the spree,
But you haven’t seen the nip of his lonely merchant ship,
Ploughing furrows through a mine infested sea.
You have cheered our Naval lads in their stately ‘Iron-clads’,
You have spared a cheer for Tommy Atkins too,
But you’ve trembled in a funk when you’ve read of steamers sunk,
Though you’ve never cared a damn about the crew.
He brings your wounded back on a ‘sub – infested’ track,
He ferries all your troops about at night,
He belongs to no Brigade , he’s neglected, underpaid,
But he’s always in the thickest of the fight.
He fights the lurking Hun with his ‘pipsqueak’ little gun,
He’ll ruin Adolf Hitler’s mighty plan,
He’s a hero, he’s a nut, he’s the bleeding limit, But…
He’s just a Merchant Service Sailor Man.
When this wretched war is over, don’t forget the Straits of Dover,
And all the blessed Seven Seas as well with luck
Are alive with men like these bringing you your bread and cheese,
You will remember won’t you. Will you Hell…