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Minesweepers

[words Rudyard Kipling, music Peter Bellamy]

Minesweepers is a poem from Rudyard Kipling's Songs for Youth and was collected in his Songs from Books (Macmillan, 1914). Peter and Antheas Bellamy and Chris Birch sang Minesweepers on Bellamy's fourth album of songs set to Kipling's poems, Keep on Kipling. He commented in the sleeve notes:

I dedicate my setting of Minesweepers to Jenny Hicks, fellow Kipling and folk-song lover and grand-daughter of the owner of Golden Gain.

Lyrics

Dawn off the Foreland—the young flood making,
Jumbled and short and steep—
Black in the hollows, and bright where its breaking—
Awkward water to sweep.
“Mines reported in the fairway,
Warn all traffic, and detain.
Send up Unity, Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain.”

Noon off the Foreland—the first ebb making,
Lumpy, and strong in the bight.
Boom after boom, and the golf-hut shaking
And the jackdaws wild with fright!
“Mines located in the fairway,
Boats now working up the chain,
Sweepers—Unity, Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain.”

Dusk off the Foreland—the last light going
And the traffic crowding through,
And five damned trawlers with their sirens blowing
Heading the whole review!
“Sweep completed in the fairway.
no more mines remain.
Send back Unity, Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain.”