Editor's note: On 14 July 1862 the United States Congress passed legislation abolishing the daily rum ration issued to U.S. Navy sailors on board vessels.
This ditty on the topic was found among the papers of the 'Alcoholic Spirits' folder in the Navy Department Library's ZV files located in the Rare Book Room.
Scene: Ward-room of U.S.S. ----. Time: Night of August 31, 1862.
(The Law abolishing grog taking effect September 1, 1862)
Air, “Come, Landlord, Fill the Flowing Bowl.”
Come, messmates, pass the bottle ‘round
Our time is short, remember,
For our grog must stop and our spirits drop
On the first day of September.
Jack’s happy days will soon be gone,
To return again oh! Never,
For they’ve raised his pay five cents a day
But stopped his grog forever.
Farewell, old rye, ‘tis a sad, sad word,
But alas! It must be spoken,
The ruby cup must be given up
And the demijohn be broken.
Yet memory oft will backward turn
And dwell with fondness partial,
On the days when gin was not a sin
Nor cocktails brought courts martial.
All hands to splice the main brace call,
But splice it now in sorrow,
For the spirit-room key will be laid away
Forever on to-morrow.