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|Off to Sea Once More|
"Off to Sea Once More" is one of my favourite sea songs and, according to mood at the moment, it may be my absolute favourite. I first heard it from Brian Kelly but the version I sing can be found in Roy Palmer's The Oxford Book of Sea Songs. For my taste Roy's version is a lot more tuneful but the lyrics are virtually the same.
The gap separating whalers in the 19th century and aircraft carriers in the 20th century are indeed worlds apart. This song is so evocative of the love/hate relationship between a seaman and his chosen element that I always find myself thinking about H.M.S. Victorious whenever doing "Off to Sea Once More". The title alone brings it all back. The song itself is about being seen-off by agents, the ladies, the hard life at sea and finally the wish of being ashore with a loving wife.
Maybe one day I'll try my hand at a sea song about aircraft carriers, atom-bombs, radar, biological and electronic warfare etc., the lot of a 20th century naval sea-goer, in the same vein. Even if I succeeded, I doubt whether it would go down with present day audiences.