With apologies to C.C. Moore… and a tribute to our Sailors where ever they may be tonight…
‘Twas the night before Christmas, all compartments were still,
The Sailors were sleeping, as most Sailors will.
The ditty bags hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
Our Sailors were all peacefully dreaming in bed,
as visions of liberty danced in each head.
The Chief in his skivvies, hopped into his rack,
Having just came from Chief’s mess for a quick midnight snack.
When out on the deck there arose such a roar,
I ran to the porthole to find out the score.
I stuck out my head and started to shout,
“Just what the ?? is that noise all about?”
A moon made for independent steaming showed with a glow,
It was downright cold out, ’bout seven below.
What I saw out there looked like one of those Mardi Gras floats,
‘Twas a Captain’s gig drawn by four white Navy goats.
Rising from the craft was a man who seemed quiet and moody,
I knew in an instant St. Nick had the duty.
To him quickly the billy goats came,
as he shouted and whistled and called each by name.
“Now Perry, now Farragut, Dewey and Jones,
What’s the matter John Paul, got lead in your bones?
A little to Starboard, now hold it up short,
No fluffing off now, or you’ll go on report!
“He was wearing dress “Reds” that fit like a charm,
Hash marks covered the length of his arm.
The gifts to be issued were all in his pack,
The gedunk was ready to leave on each rack.
His eyes they were watering, his nose caked with ice,
He wiped it with canvas, then sneezed once or twice.
He opened his mouth and started to yawn,
It looked like the Sun coming up with the dawn.
The stump of a pipe, he held tight in his teeth,
And took a small nip from a bottle beneath.
He wasn’t so big, but he must have been ever so strong,
I figured he’d been a SEAL early and long.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old Tar,
with a smiling face and a well-chewed cigar.
He filled every sea bag with presents galore,
And left us all leave papers, right by the door.
With “Anchors Aweigh” he climbed back into place,
A broad smile was creeping all over his face.
One look at his watch and he started to frown,
“This mid watch is certainly getting me down.
“Then out to the breakwater and into the night,
The gig started fading, the landscape was bright.
“Merry Christmas, Mateys ” he said, as he got underway,
“I got more ships to visit before I finish the day.