The Longest Song Wiki
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Latest revision as of 05:34, 15 October 2019

Composed by singer, songwriter, and naval submariner Cyril Tawney, of Gosport, Hampshire, dated to approximately 1967 but not recorded by Cyril himself until his album "Sally Free and Easy" in 1989.

In their stream in February 2019, JD mentions that the Longest Johns arrangement of Chicken on a Raft differs from the more common arrangement used by some other folk groups, in that it excludes a chord that breaks up the chorus.

Factoids

Chicken on a Raft is slang for a fried egg on toast.

  • Dabtoe: A seaman or member of the Ops Branch
  • Donnie-B: the Donibristle house near Royal Naval Dockyard Rosyth,
  • Dustman: A sailor of the naval stores rating
  • Forenoon: The watch shift from 0800-1200
  • Jimmy: The first lieutenant
  • Middle: The watch shift from 0000-0400
  • Wardroom: The officer's mess (dining room)

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Livestream, the original lyrics can be found here.

Skipper in the wardroom drinkin' gin,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
I don't mind knockin', but I ain't goin' in!
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
The jimmy's laughin' like it'd rain,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
He's lookin' at me comic cuts again!
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)

{Chorus}
Hey! Chicken on a raft on a Monday morning,
Oh, what a terrible sight to see,
Dabtoe's for'ard and the dustman's aft,
Sittin' there pickin' at a chicken on a raft!
Hi, ho, chicken on a raft!
Hey, ho, chicken on a raft!
Hi, ho, chicken on a raft!
Hey, ho, chicken on a raft!

They gave me the middle and the forenoon too,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
Now I'm pullin' on a whalers crew.
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
Seagulls wheelin' overhead,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
I should be sleepin' in me featherbed!

{Chorus}

An amazon girl lived in Dumfries,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
Only had her kids in the two's and three's,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
Her sister lives in Maryhill,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
She says she won't but I think she will!

{Chorus}

I had a little girl in Donny-B,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
And did she make a fool of me.
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
Am I that one she loves the best,
(Hi-yo, chicken on a raft!)
Or just a cuckoo in another man's nest?

{Chorus}