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January 01st 2009 print

Philippa Martyr

Sea Shanty

That little house is the madman’s house With an anchor in the garden

(for Captain Les)

That little house is the madman’s house

With an anchor in the garden,

And the madman’s flag flaps about like a rag

Richly sewn with a song of pardon.

All aboard the jaunty Narrenschiff

With its crew of startling tenants:

There the madman bleeds and then tells his beads

To the old pirates of penance.

What can you do with a drunken sailor?

Some doors won’t open again.

So he sleeps on the grass with an empty glass,

And the water tank dreams of the rain.