OUTSIDE TRACK

picture of Charlie Ipcar

Charlie Ipcar
Richmond, Maine

There were ten of us there on that moonlit quay
And one on the for'ard hatch;
No straighter man to his mates than he,
No one could be his match;
"'Twill be long, old man, 'fore our glasses clink,
'Twill be long 'fore we grasp your hand!"
Then we dragged him ashore for a final drink,
Till the whole wide world seemed grand.

Chorus:
For they marry and go, as the world rolls back,
They marry and vanish and die;
But their spirit shall live on the outside track,
As long as the years go by.

The port-lights glowed in the morning mist
That rose from the waters so green;
And over the railing we grasped his fist
As the dark tide came between;
We cheered the captain, we cheered the crew,
And our own mate, times out of mind;
We cheered the land he was going to,
And the land he'd left behind.

Chorus

We roared Lang Syne as a last farewell,
But me heart seemed out of joint;
I well remember the hush that fell
As the steamer cleared the point;
We drifted home through the public bars,
We was ten times less by one,
Who had sailed out under the morning stars,
Into the rising sun.

Chorus

Then one by one, two by two,
They've sailed from the quay since then;
I've said good-bye to the last I knew,
The last of the careless men;
And I can't help but think that the times we had
Was the best times after all,
As I turn aside, and raise my glass,
And drink to this barroom wall.

Chorus (2X)

As long as the years go by.

(Words by Henry Lawson, 1896;
Original tune by Gerry Hallom 1982, used with permission)

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