Derelict (Allison)

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For works with similar titles, see Derelict .
Derelict  (1891) 
by Young E. Allison
"Derelict" was a composition by Young E. Allison in 1891, nine years after Treasure Island was published. It is based on Stevenson's 4-line genesis of the shanty "Dead Man's Chest" from Treasure Island. "Derelict" is also variously known as Dead Man's Chest, Yo Ho Ho and Fifteen Men On A Dead Man's Chest. It has been so often imitated and derived from that it is often mistaken to be the original song from Treasure Island.

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
The mate was fixed by the bosun's pike
The bosun brained with a marlinspike
And cookey's throat was marked belike
It had been gripped by fingers ten;
And there they lay, all good dead men
Like break o'day in a boozing ken
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of a whole ship's list
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
The skipper lay with his nob in gore
Where the scullion's axe his cheek had shore
And the scullion he was stabbed times four
And there they lay and the soggy skies
Dripped all day long in up-staring eyes
At murk sunset and at foul sunrise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of 'em stiff and stark
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Ten of the crew had the murder mark!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
'Twas a cutlass swipe or an ounce of lead
Or a yawing hole in a battered head
And the scuppers glut with a rotting red
And there they lay, aye, damn my eyes,
All lookouts clapped on Paradise
All souls bound just contrawise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men of 'em good and true -
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Ev'ry man jack could ha' sailed with Old Pew,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
There was chest on chest full of Spanish gold
With a ton of plate in the middle hold
And the cabins riot of loot untold,
And they lay there that had took the plum
With sightless glare and their lips struck dumb
While we shared all by the rule of thumb,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

More was seen through the sternlight screen...
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Chartings no doubt where a woman had been
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
A flimsy shift on a bunker cot
With a thin dirk slot through the bosom spot
And the lace stiff dry in a purplish blot
Oh was she wench, some shudderin' maid
That dared the knife and took the blade
By God! she was stuff for a plucky jade
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
We wrapped 'em all in a mains'l tight
With twice ten turns of a hawser's bight
And we heaved 'em over and out of sight,
With a "Yo-Heave-Ho!" and "Fare-you-well!"
And a sudden plunge in the sullen swell
Ten fathoms deep on the road to Hell,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!