We were out chopping wood, we were out chopping wood. We were hacking, we were hacking, then we went to the docks. We took the wood to the docks, the wood we’d been hacking. We took the wood to the docks, we had hacked. At the docks, we put the wood on to a boat. When the wood was on the boat, the boat set sail, the boat sank. But the wood remained afloat. When the boat sank, the crew swam. The crew clutched at the wood, the wood remained afloat. We had hacked the wood, the crew grabbed at the wood, and then they made for the shore. On the shore were the docks, and we were boozing at the docks. We’d been out chopping wood, now we were boozing at the docks.
That shanty was originally published twenty long years ago in Smooching With Istvan, the second Malice Aforethought Press anthology of writings and drawings by Mr Key and Max DÃ©charnÃ©. Well do I remember creating the covers by spraying sheets of card with seven or eight different colours of car spray paint in a closed room. I should have opened the windows. Incidentally, it is within the pages of Smooching With Istvan that the words “Hooting Yard” appeared in print for the very first time. I will shortly be auctioning an exceedingly rare copy of this one hundred page collection of bran tub scrapings on eBay, but before doing so I will accept bids here, until noon on Saturday 19th May. A full eBay-style description of the book is added in the Comments. Taking advice from the kinds of people who advise me on such things, the starting price is Â£100.