WE CROSSED THE EQUATOR ON APRIL 24, 1957
Subject: Poems written by Bennington Crew Member
I have transcribed these poems from aged carbon copies I have.
They were written by our assistant Division Officer (OE Div.) during my time aboard 1956-1958,
We crossed the equator on 24, April 1957.
The Author is CWO-4 Gritton, Chief Radio Electrician.
I do not remember his first name.
The transcriptions are exact to the carbons I have, any punctuation marks are in the originals.
It should be noted that April 23rd, 1957 was called Pollywog day.
As I retyped these I remember that we had a full Commander who was Commander
of the Operations Department that refused to be initiated.
At the same time our Exec. Cdr. John Parks went through the whole thing.
All the best,
Ron Nybakken, Shipmate
BREAK OUT THE RUM
There’ll be meat on the table, Boys, said Davy Jones.
I can smell it in the air, Feel it in my bones
‘Tis a foul smelling stench, odor of Pollywog,
We’ll break out the rum, Boys, and have a round of grog.
Feel that tremor in the sea, a distant quaking,
‘Tis but that puny creature, trembling and shaking,
worst of all landlubbers, air-borne Pollywog,
Let’s break out the rum, Boys, we’ll have a round of grog.
Send for King Neptune, our ruler of the sea,
Send for all our Kingdom to gather here with me.
Hear those moans, those awful groans, sound of Pollywogs?
Oh, break out the rum, Boys we’ll have a round of grog.
Polish up the Trident, Crown, and our Shillelagh’s too,
Gather all the pirates, they know just what to do.
The awful smell grows stronger, stench of Pollywog,
So break out the rum, Boys, we’ll have a round of grog.
Mark it on the calender, mark ye well the date.
April twenty third is the day we’ll celebrate,
Decimate the ranks of the craven Pollywog,
Break out the rum, Boys, we’ll have a round of grog.
A sad and surly creature, stumbling on his feet,
Flinching, dazed and fearful, sweating in the heat,
Pity thou no Pollywog, for you are duty bound,
Set ‘em up again, boys, we’ll have just one last round.
Navigator, ply thy trade, lay out the Big Benn’s track,
Muster all her trusty seamen, every last shellback.
Mark the roll, compute the toll, Pollywogs are many,
Put away the rum, Boys, for we,ve business on the Benny.
ON THE BENNINGTON
Now hear this, ye scum of all the oceans!
Mark it well,Ye cause of vast commotion!
Pollywog, thou slimy creature, craven,
Trembling, fearful seeking haven.
The King of the Deep has put his claim
On every sailor of honest name
If ye be loyal to the realm of the seas,
Swear it loud and clear on bended knees!
King Neptune, and Davy Jones too,
Desire to have a word with you.
Grovel on your belly, tremble in your bones,
Hear sentence pronounced in thunderous tones!
The Royal Baby awaits your Kiss,
With kind assistance you wont miss.
And relax here in this special chair
While the Royal Barber trims your hair!
Now these jolly members of the court
Desire to bathe you, come, be a sport,
Laugh and sputter and gasp with glee
While they scrub the slime and grime from thee!
Speak up Pollywog, are you prepared
For the reception all shellbacks shared?
If you’ve a large well padded seat
Tis a warm, joyous welcome you will meet!
Now you can gag and sputter and spit,
But do be careful how you sit.
For at long last, if you were game
You’ve added SHELLBACK to your name.
CWO-4 Gritton 1957