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The Salvage Men

Words by ex-coastguardsman Joe McGrath 1986
Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 1993
Tune: inspired by Brandytree by Gordon Bok

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Now on those dark and the moonless nights, when the wind can chew your soul,
It seems to raise the worst in men, out west of the Isle of Shoals.
Down to the beach in a column they come, in a march of death 'tis claimed;
No honor on that stretch of ground with plunder to be gained.
"Bring the torch, build the fire bright, if a ship be on the sea,
Then should her master be deceived, a salvage wreck she'll be!"

Chorus:
Take no pride when men have died, by hearts so cold and cruel,
If the salvage man be your friend, the Devil go with you!

Upon the deck of a coastal bark, the watch cries through the gale,
"A light, a light, off the starboard bow, safe haven for to sail!"
"Now, helmsman, bring her head around; steer her for the lee;
No business have we here tonight upon this angry sea."
"Oh, Captain," cries the second mate, "We're close onto the shore;
I can smell the flats and the inland pine, and fear we'll sail no more."

Chorus

"Too late, too late, to save your ship!" the salvagers do shout;
"You're too far in to take her back, too close to come about!"
And when she strikes and timbers split, stout men do weep and cry;
To know your fate is sealed would break a stronger man than I.

Chorus

So if some evening you should walk down by old Brooker's Beach;
Don't tarry when the waves roll in, as the gale blows from the east.
For on those dark and the moonless nights, when the wind can chew your soul,
It seems to raise the worst in men, out west of the Isle of Shoals.

Chorus (2X)

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