Wednesday, 14 July 2010

friends first !

No, this wasn't the raft of the Medusa,
This boat of ours.
Let them tell each other that
Deep in the harbours and ports
It sailed along, taking it easy
On the big duck pond,
And they called it Friends First,
Friends first of all.

Its "fluctuat nec mergitur"
Were not exactly literature,
Begging the pardon of magicians and sorcerers,
Magicians and sorcerers.
The captain and his crew
Were not sons of bitches,
But mates, as good as you could get,
Best mates first of all.

They weren't high quality friends
Like Castor and Pollux
Or the guys of Sodom and Gomorrha,
Sodom and Gomorrha.
They weren't friends chosen
By Montaigne and La Boétie,
But they were mates and got on well together,
Friends first of all.

They weren't angels either,
They hadn't managed to get round to reading the gospel,
But in friendship they sailed towards each other in full rigging,
In full rigging.
Jean, Pierre, Paul and the rest,
And this was their only Litany,
Their Credo and their Confiteor,
Friends first of all.

At the slightest hint of Trafalgar,
It was friendship which took over the watch,
That was what gave them their bearings,
Gave them their bearings.
And when they were in distress,
And their arms signalled SOS,
You would have said they were signalling
"Friends first of all."

When the mates met up,
It wasn't often that one of them was missing,
If there was a gap, he must be dead,
He must be dead.
But never, absolutely never
Did the hole in the water close over him.
A hundred years later, would you believe it,
They would miss him still.

I've boarded a lot of boats
But the only one which really stayed on course,
Which never got on the wrong tack,
Never got on the wrong tack,
Sailed along, taking it easy
On the big duck pond,
They called it Friends First,
Friends First.

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