midi file, text, and information  courtesy of Leslie Nelson-Burns at http://www.contemplator.com/sea/index.html

Come, messmates, pass the bottle 'round
Our time is short, remember,
For our grog must stop,
And our spirits drop,
On the first day of September.
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
Tomorrow we'll be sober.

Farewell old rye, 'tis a sad, sad word
But alas! it must be spoken,
The ruby cup must be given up,
And the demijohn be broken.
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
Tomorrow we'll be sober.

Jack's happy days will soon be gone,
To return again, oh never!
For they've raised his pay five cents a day,
But stopped his grog forever.
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
Tomorrow we'll be sober.

Yet memory oft' will backward turn,
And dwell with fondness partial,
On the days when gin was not a sin,
Nor cocktails brought courts-martial.
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
Tomorrow we'll be sober.

All hands to splice the main brace, call,
But splice it now in sorrow
For the spirit-room key will be laid away
Forever, on tomorrow.
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
Tomorrow we'll be sober

Grog was a mixture of rum and water. It was served as a ration in the United States Navy until September 1, 1862. Caspar Schenk, USN composed the tune and it was accordingly sung the night of August 31, 1862 in the wardroom of the U.S.S. Portsmouth.

For other songs about grog see The Contemplator's Short History of Grog.

Related Links
The Contemplator's Short History of Grog
Grog Recipe
(Make your own grog)
U.S. Navy Home Page
Naval Historical Center
The Contemplator's Microencyclopedia: Sea Shanties
National Maritime Historical Society

From Book of Navy Songs
See Bibliography for full information.


 

 

 

 

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