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    I have been since seventeen a shipwreck balladeer
    Tragedy and misery are what makes my career
    Watery graves are my stock and trade, but it's getting harder
    For all the boats that now do float are returning safely to the harbour

    There hasn't been a shipwreck scene since 1965
    And I find I cry each time a crew returns alive
    I only cheer when gales appear and threaten fresh disaster
    They pass by, the boat survives, only my career's in tatters

    They're building ships too good today, and I'm the one who suffers
    They don't get rent from aft to stern and their halls never rupture
    Not dashed on rocks and never tossed to heaven on a wave
    You may think it well and good but my livelihood sails away

    There once were found, twenty in town, who wrote about shipwrecks
    When boats sank lots, just like rocks, 'twas good as it gets
    But the golden ages passed away and I'm barely survivin'
    The balladeers are dead I fear and workin' in advertisin'

    They're building ships too good today and it's hurtin' me
    Why can't even one poor soul fall into the dark sea
    And be ripped apart by hungry sharks in a bloody spree
    You may think it well and good, but my livelihood sails away

    Oh the only tragedy left to sing about is me

    That government bastard's been sent to take my job from me
    That inspector's making sure the ships are seaworthy
    He can try, no way will I ever give up hope
    When he went by, I did pry a big hole in his boat

    They're building ships too good today, so I helped one along
    How sweet it is to once again hear the tortured song
    Of a man afloat a sinking boat, who knows he will die today
    You might think it bad not good, but my livelihood's here to stay
    It's here to staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

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