> Steeleye Span > Songs > Senior Service

Senior Service

[Maddy Prior, Rick Kemp]

This track from Steeleye Span’s 1980 reunion album Sails of Silver was also released as B-side of the title track single Sails of Silver.

The song’s chorus shares the alliteration with the playparty song Up the Alley, Courting Sally (Roud 16803).


Steeleye Span sing Senior Service

Sally’s in the alley and Nancy’s on the game
Emily is pregnant and wondering who to blame
We raise our port and lemon and toast a reply
That the Senior Service satisfy

See the bold man of war steaming into port
Guns fully primed, the 24 pounder sort
And down on the deck for a full broadside
Back on the high seas with the rising tide

Here’s a little steam ship chugging up the channel
Small smoke stack and a red smoking funnel
He brings the girls presents of stockings and tights
Comes regular as clockwork every Tuesday night


Here come the sailor boys, Matthew, Luke and John
I like ’em with tattoos, I like ’em young and strong
Here come the sailor boys a-rousting up the town
Their rigging is up but their sails are down

Here’s a skipper of a clipper with a broken bowsprit
Heading for a dry dock and a new re-fit
There’s an oil tanker of the modern kind
A thousand foot length of throbbing steam turbine


Here come the sailor boys, George, John and Paul
I like ’em lithe and lisson, I like ’em slim and tall
Here come the sailor boys whistling on the quay
Blue Peter up the mast where all the girls can see