Painting the Boat ~ Mumbles Press

Written in 1931 and previously published in The Mumbles Press, June 1931 and Mumbles in Verse,

Painting the Boat ~ by Spur

I must go down to the boat to work,
Down on the concrete walk,
And take my pots and brushes and gear
Not sit on her rail to talk.
So I can’t wait for my breakfast,
Don’t fry the steak and chips,
For I must paint and scrape her,
The same as other ships.

Last time I painted the boat, lass,
The Prince of Wales passed thro’;
That’s how I decided her colours
As red and white and blue.
This time I’ll change the pattern,
I’ve thought it out in bed;
I’ll change the Prince’s colours
To blue and white and red.

The summer’s here and ought to start,
Then I’ll know the work’s begun;
I shan’t want water to shave today,
I’ll shave when the job is done.
So help me on with my coat and vest
And hand me my cravat and cap,
Also I’ll wear my working boots,
And where did I put my strap?
What else do I want bar pots and gear?
My pipe and bacca to chew!

For my heart is set on painting
And a full-size boat to do.
Ay, here’s the green, but where’s the blue?
Where did that white paint go?
I’ll take some rags to wipe my hands
Whatever else I do.
Now where’s my file and putty knife?
And where’s that pot of oil?

Come, hand to me the painter—
What’s that?
You think you see a spot
Upon the window pane?
Ay, bless my soul, it is a spot
I’m blowed!
It looks like rain,
That’s done it!

Serve the porridge, lass—
The steak and chips to follow,
We’ll put away the gear today,
It may be fine tomorrow.

Written in 1931 by Spur and previously
published in The Mumbles Press,
June 1931 and Mumbles in Verse,


Mumbles (Welsh: Mwmbwls) is a headland sited on the western edge of Swansea Bay on the southern coast of Wales.


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