Hammer Time

I seem to have a song for just about everything; most of the time I keep things to myself and just sing in my own head. But sometimes, especially when I’m a bit tired or distracted or feeling like lifting my own spirits, I will sing. And by “sing” I don’t mean a melodious tune. Nope, I belt out like a sideshow carnie barking for the moose lady. It doesn’t matter whether I know the words, I sing. Needless to say Peter isn’t a huge fan of when these moments hit me.

Case in point: a few weeks ago I was whacking on some rust on the inside of the boat. (Yes…the inside. I’ll get to the huge, enormous, monstrous windlass project in a future blog post. Just know that the rust on the inside of the boat was related to the bungled steel repair job done by the previous owner. Put your mind at ease, dear reader, that we are not sailing around in a disintegrating sieve held together by paint and fairing compound. At least we think we aren’t…) And so I was chipping a rust spot on the ceiling of the v-berth and smacking the steel as hard as I could. It had been a long day of not just chipping rust but of removing foam, of wire brushing, of crawling around and into the chain locker at the very front of the boat. (I fit into the chain locker better than Peter and so these tasks fall to me.) I was tired of working above my head and wearing safety glasses and a dust mask.

The entrance to the chain locker is that square behind me. See why Peter doesn’t fit very well?

I started to sing my de facto chipping song:

If I had a hammer,
I’d hammer in the morning.
I’d hammer in the evening,
all over this boat.
I’d hammer out the rust spots,
I’d hammer out the fairing…

Usually I mumble mumble over the words I don’t know but inspiration hit and I began a second chipping song (with lyrics I remember learning in preschool or first grade):

Take this hammer (whack)
Give it to the Captain (whack)
Take this hammer (whack)
Give it to the Captain (whack)
Take this hammer (whack)
Give it to the Captain (whack)
Tell him I’m goin’…tell him I’m gone.

I don’t want no (whack)
Bread and ‘lasses. (whack)
I don’t want no (whack)
Bread and ‘lasses. (whack)
I don’t want no (whack)
Bread and ‘lasses. (whack)
Tell him I’m goin’…tell him I’m gone.

I really wanted to be gone from chipping.

The singing was helping but I wondered whether I was being annoying. I called out to Peter, who was in the salon: can you name a third song with a hammer in it?

He called back: I don’t think I should encourage you…

I guess I was being annoying.


In case you’re wondering: the third hammer song was John Henry*. Though the title of this post might suggest it, I wasn’t about to sing any MC Hammer. I mean, how silly would I have sounded doing that?

Any other hammer songs I should know about? A girl’s gotta build up her repertoire.


*The John Henry version I sang in college chorus was significantly “cleaned up” from what is linked to above; it’s closest to the Construction Crew version. I have to say that I like the real ones better than the sanitized lyrics I know.

One thought on “Hammer Time

  1. Peter should be glad you wanted to be gone from chipping, and not from the boat! Sounds like fun to me! I would have just joined right in, you know I would!


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