Good Morrow Old Pompey!
How the Dickens thee be?
Southampton stops by this fine Summer’s day.
After cash-jab and face-lift, looks young and healthy
I calls on thee ‘Neighbour’,
but ‘Scummer!’ ye names me
Thee Royal Navy and I Merchant Sea
Yet ye stole my ferry passengers
And should-be-mine bananas fatten your docks
I sings out: “Daylight Come and I Want go home”.
“What Shall We do with a Drunken Sailor?” is your repost
Come jolly Jack Tar
slap my back if I slaps thine
Chants we more o’them shanties
and buy me a bevvy
at Spice Island Tavern
we’ll sup to “fair ladies”
my Queens and Princesses
your grand Ark Royals
and here’s to Lord Admiral Nelson
and his flagged Victory.
Your rum and brandy, my wine and beer
We feast on mackerel – all sprightly silver,
like 30 pieces, or was that of eight?
Lament our great losses:
My tragic Titanic
Your dear Mary Rose.
Evoke Dunkirk spirit –
How we did save them
by the thousand
How we did fight them
shoulder to shoulder
against the French, and on D-Day, the Blitz …
Let’s parade to bagpipes along your old battlements
with Southsea salt-air,
We skiff English pebbles
aim for Spitbank
and against that greasy-grey grave of great sea.
Thee, and thy gulls, have welcomed me
And now I must bid fare-thee-well and Adieu..
Let’s stay always Mateys
And repay my Southampton a visit
Note: I wrote this after visiting friends in Portsmouth, about half an hour’s ride away. Historically Southampton and Portsmouth have always been rival ports. It is only heard in football match chants nowadays. But the two cities have always pulled together hard against common enemies.