OLD IRONSIDES IN DRYDOCK

 

 

Oh ye lovers of tall ships, come see while she is at rest

Stripped of her yard arms, unmasted, her lines all gone and her sheets furled

Her mighty decks, once covered in blood, are quiet tho they once withstood the test

Of heavy cannon shot, fired in anger, as against her oaken sides was hurled

 

She is being refitted for war during a nervous peace

New masts, new yard arms, new rigging, new sails and new men

So that she can take her place on the line and her vigilance will never cease

To guide, direct and protect her country and her people Once again.

 

Very soon we will celebrate the bicentennial of the laying of her keel

And this famous old lady is tired, weather‑beaten and showing her age

But in spite of her age, we love her dearly and to show her how we feel

The master shipbuilders are restoring her so that she can turn a new page

 

As soon as she has been completely restored, she will be refloated and put back to sea

With new mainmast, foremast, mizzenmast, lines, halyards, braces so tall and so strong

With new mainsheet, foresheet, topsails, spars, spinnakers, and jibs set for all to see

Our great pride, as she sails into the hearts of America's great throng.

 

We can all look forward to her annual turnarounds on the Fourth of July

When she will dazzle the hundreds of spectators all dressed in bunting from stem to stern

When she will fly Old Glory so proudly from her halyard oh so high

And the hearts of all men will beat faster as we watch her make her majestic return

 

Oh you hallowed Navy shrine dedicated to the era of wooden ships and iron men

We ask you to lead your country peacefully and proudly into the next century

Set your spars, booms and sails for those exotic distant shores and when

You set your course for home, bring with you all those yearning to be free.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ‑‑Leo J. Gulinello

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1994

 

The Captainís Clerk
1989, TGM