Chicken on a Raft


CHICKEN ON A RAFT    (more or less as we sing it)
Written by the eternal Cyril Tawney

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

cho: Chicken on a raft on a Monday morning,
Oh, what a terrible sight to see,
Dabtoes forward and the dustmen aft*…
Sittin’ there a’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,  (duty watch in the Navy)
Now I’m pullin’ in a whaler’s crew.          (not to catch whales; one of the ship’s boats)
Seagulls wheelin’ overhead,
I oughta be floating in a featherbed!

I had a little girl in Donny-B,
And did she make a fool of me.
Her heart was like a pusser’s shower,
Run hot to cold in a quarter of an hour!

An amazon girl lived in Dumfries,
Only had her kids in two’s and three’s,
She’s got a sister in Maryhill,
Says she won’t but I think she will!

We kissed goodbye on a midnight bus,
She didn’t cry and she didn’t fuss,
Am I that one she loves the best,    (No!)
Or just a cuckoo in another man’s nest?     (Yes!)


*Note – Dabtoes and dustmen are Royal Naval slang terms… Dabtoes are general (not specialized) seamen doing general  labour, such as swabbing… Dustmen is the term originally meant for stokers (as in feeding the engines) but now applies to “Engine Room Specialists”.

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2 thoughts on “Chicken on a Raft

  1. Chris Carter

    very small correction. Verse 2, line 2 should be ‘now I’m pullin’ in a whaler’s crew’. Not whaling. Awhaler is a Royal Navy ships boat so called because it is pointed at both ends (like the small boats used for hunting whales in times past). Being pointed it can be rowed in either direction (Not at the same time!)
    Last line should be ‘I oughta be floatin’ in a feather bed. ‘
    Neither are a big deal but it’s as well to get it right.

    1. JosMorn Post author

      Hello Chris,

      What I put up is the way the Cliff sings it, but you are quite correct to sending me the proper lines! I’ll make the adjustment to the lyrics.



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