Farewell to Grog
is an adaptation by Caspar Schenk, USN of the fine old English 18th-century drinking song, Come Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl
, to lament the cessation of the issue of grog, a custom which they inherited from the Royal Navy, on 1st September, 1862. According to The Book of Navy Songs
, the song was composed and sung in the wardroom of the USS Portsmouth on the night of August, 31st, the evening before the law came into effect.
As a former naval rating, I remember back in 1957 on joining the service as a 16-year old UA (under age), that one of my anxieties was that rum would be stopped (it was always being rumored) before I would reach manhood at the ripe old age of 18 and being rated G (grog) . As it was, I need not have worried and enjoyed my daily tot every day at noon until I went into civvy street in 1968. During that time I joined in "splicing the main brace" along with everyone else not stopped (not being allowed one's rum for one reason or other) to celebrate the births of Prince Andrew (1960) and Prince Edward (1964). Rum was finally abolished in the Royal Navy with much ado on 31st July, 1970, 108 years after our American cousins.