The Ballad of Sir Perry Pufflingpants

We’ve been watching the marvelously witty Britcom “Upstart Crow”, a fictionalized account of the Bard’s early days. I’ve been looking for an excuse to use the phrase “puffling pants” since the first episode. This also gives me leave to include my other favorite word to say, codswallop.


Sir Perry Pufflingpants was a mighty sailing man
Captain of the HMS Codswallop
His heart contained the bravery of eleven men
And perhaps of preening pride a tiny dollop

His 1st mate, and his best mate, who helped to run the ship
Was a working lad named Roger Dodgington
Who was in charge of sailing stuff like how to pull the ropes
And manly things like when to fire the gun

Sir Perry Pufflingpants and Roger Dodgington
Always worked together because it was more fun

They’d sailed together many years, Sir Perry and old Rog
A pair of friends who made a tight old team
The HMS Codswallop was the best ship of the line
But sometimes things aren’t what they seem

Sir Perry Pufflingpants and Roger Dodgington
Have always worked together but some trouble has begun

Sir Perry Pufflingpants, that might sailing bloke
Whose heart contained his bravery plus ten
Secretly believed it was he who ran all things
And he the one revered by all his men

Sir Perry Pufflingpants and Roger Dodgington
Ought to see the same or their friendship is undone

Near the end of one long journey when the grog was running short
The crew began to grumble in complaint
Sir Perry Pufflingpants said they ought to just buck up
And follow his example of restraint

Sir Perry Pufflingpants and Roger Dodgington
Faced a brand new challenge when they didn’t work as one

Now Roger Dodgington, that loyal mate the first
Objected to his captain’s Stoic stance
And when he spoke his mind the men agreed and said
“Let’s haul him down and kick him in the pants!”

Sir Perry Pufflingpants and Roger Dodgington
Could one keep the other from a kicking in the bun?

“Avast there, salty sailors!” cried Roger Dodgington
“There’ll be no kicking, not while I’m still strong.
A side trip to the islands will fill our hold with grog
And keep our heads attached where they belong.”

Sir Perry Pufflingpants and Roger Dodgington
Would they work together? Would it still be fun?

Sir Perry Pufflingpants, that captain so sagacious
Acquiesced, endorsing Roger’s plan
Nodding to his mate he thanked him for his help
And the crew all cheered them both, to a man

Sir Perry Pufflingpants and Roger Dodgington
Always worked together because it was more fun


might be about life

might just be about sailing

I’ve sailed upon this wilderness all my life
This sea has taught me everything I’ve learned
It’s taken from me everything I ever had
And all I ever had has been returned

Hard weather howled horizon to horizon
Tackle overboard and lost for good
Fearsome creatures prowling in my wake each day
Sun and stars still found me when they could

So many islands green and fair crossed my bow
So many times I thought to go ashore
But not one held the port I knew awaited me
One by one they fell astern forevermore

The time has come to furl my sails and ship the oars
Time to end this life on brine and foam
My time’s been spent in just the way it should have been
And now’s the time, and now, oh now I’m home