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Chicken on a Raft
Cyril Tawney Lyrics

Skipper's in the wardroom drinking gin, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
I don't mind knocking but I ain't going in, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
'Jimmy's' laughing like a drain, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
Been looking at m' 'comic cuts' again. (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)

Chicken on a raft on a Monday morning, oh what a terrible sight to see,
'Dabtoes' for'd and the Dustmen aft, sitting there picking at a 'chicken on a raft'.
Hey -oh, chicken on a raft, Oy -oh, chicken on a raft.
Hey -oh, chicken on a raft, Oy -oh, chicken on a raft.

They gave me the Middle and the Forenoon too, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
And now I'm pulling in the whaler's crew, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
Seagulls wheeling overhead, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
I ought to be 'flogging' in a feather bed. (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)

I had a little girl in 'Donny B', (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
And oh, she made a fool of me, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
Her heart was like a Pusser's shower, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
From hot to cold in a quarter of an hour. (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)

An Amazon girl lives in Dumfries, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
She only has kids in twos and threes, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
Her sister lives in Maryhill, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
She says she won't but I think she will. (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)

We kissed goodbye on the midnight bus, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
She didn't cry, she didn't fuss, (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
Am I the man that she loves best? (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)
Or am I just a cuckoo in another man's nest? (Hey -oh, chicken on a raft)

Writer(s): Cyril Tawney Copyright: Folk Directions Publishing Ltd.

Contributed by Dylan N. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Comments from YouTube:

Martin Gosling

This is a submariners shanty!!!! It was written by Cyril, who had been on submarines during his navy days. All references are to submarines, often using submariners slang terms. Chicken on a raft is what they call fried egg on fried bread. So, in truth, it is not a shanty at all, but a song that is constructed in a style somewhat like a shanty in terms of the call and response.

Martin Gosling

@John Rayner When submarines surfaced at sea, they were re-supplied from other (surface) vessels, sometimes using whalers to transfer items across. But I would also point out that "whaler" was a term used for all ships boats and even submarines carry some form of small boats aboard for various tasks. For more info and discussion please try

John Rayner

"Now I'm pulling in a whaler's crew": that is a reference to a surface ship, submarines tend not to come equiped with row boats!

Ahmèd A. Burkeba

call and response which falls in the "antiphony" category.
sorry I'm a classical academic music student(nerd) and i just had to add this up haha.


is this a focs'le or a work shanty?

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