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The Liner She's a Lady

[words Rudyard Kipling, music Peter Bellamy]

The Liner She's a Lady is a poem from Rudyard Kipling collected in his second volume of Poetry, The Seven Seas (1896). Peter Bellamy sang it on his fourth album of songs set to Kipling's poems, Keep on Kipling. Chris Birch accompanied him on viola, and Anthea Bellamy and Chris Birch joined in on chorus vocals.

This YouTube video shows Peter Bellamy singing The Death of Nelson and The Liner She's a Lady on a very old VHS tape:

Lyrics

The Liner she's a lady, an' she never looks nor 'eeds --
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, an' 'e gives 'er all she needs;
But, oh, the little cargo-boats, that sail the wet seas roun',
They're just the same as you an' me a-plyin' up an' down!

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Plyin' up an' down, Jenny, 'angin' round the Yard,
All the way by Fratton tram down to Portsmouth 'Ard;
Anythin' for business, an' we're growin' old --
Plyin' up an' down, Jenny, waitin' in the cold!

The Liner she's a lady by the paint upon 'er face,
An' if she meets an accident they count it sore disgrace:
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, and 'e's always 'andy by,
But, oh, the little cargo-boats! they've got to load or die.

The Liner she's a lady, and 'er route is cut an' dried;
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, an' 'e always keeps beside;
But, oh, the little cargo-boats that 'aven't any man,
They've got to do their business first, and make the most they can!

The Liner she's a lady, and if a war should come,
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, and 'e'd bid 'er stay at home;
But, oh, the little cargo-boats that fill with every tide!
'E'd 'ave to up an' fight for them, for they are England's pride.

The Liner she's a lady, but if she wasn't made,
There still would be the cargo-boats for 'ome an' foreign trade.
The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, but if we wasn't 'ere,
'E wouldn't have to fight at all for 'ome an' friends so dear.

'Ome an' friends so dear, Jenny, 'angin' round the Yard,
All the way by Fratton tram down to Portsmouth 'Ard;
Anythin' for business, an' we're growin' old --
'Ome an' friends so dear, Jenny, waitin' in the cold!