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Oarsmen and Brothers True


Oarsmen an’ Brothers True
A rededication to the Jon Eric VanAmringe Navy Lightweight Crews of 1974, 1975, and 1976
On the occasion of NavyLights74-78 Reunion V, 22-24 April 2016

On or about Tuesday, 9 April 1974, during NavyLights spring two-a-days,
A lubber saw three eights, and so the story goes…

A lubber was walkin’ ‘crosst Dorsey Creek Bridge aboard the Academy Yard,
When he see’d three eights off o’ Hubbard’s docks with coxes whose voices were gnarred.
An’ as the boats passed under he yelled in wonder, “What in the ‘ell are you!”
Growled a cox, “We’re eights – NavyLights Eights – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true!”
Now them oars was nuttin’ ‘cept skin-an’-bones – but perplexin’ mus-ca-lar too.
An’ they warn’t no heavies an’ they warn’t no chilluns but they shore as ‘ell was a crew.
They was kind o’ supersized Attitudes! – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.

An’ after he seen ‘em off Hospital Point a-crossin’ a finish line,
When the coxes cried out, “Way enuff!” an’ them oars went completely supine.
But they’re game t’ do pull-ups from dawn until dusk an’ then even want more t’ do.
Cuz they practice as eights – NavyLights Eights – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.
There ain’t no eights that can be found them beggars won’t challenge t’ crew;
An’ they’ll power ten an’ they’ll power twenty an’ they’ll leave all others t’ stew.
They’re a mix of Achilles an’ Hercules – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.

They’re up at four an’ on the water by five when the Severn’s as smooth as glass,
But they’re back t’ Bancroft afore colors at eight an’ they’re never late fer a class.
They work more before dawn than in a day any others could hope t’ do;
Cuz they’re gung ho eights – NavyLights Eights – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.
They eat on Fridays after weigh-in till Sunday’s done an’ through;
Then starve ‘emselves till the next weigh-in – (which ‘ud make wusses o’ me an’ you!).
Ho! They row only on fumes o’ calories! – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.

An’ off the water when the whitecaps foam – they run: and They Run! and THEY RUN!
Up stadium steps an’ cemetery hills – an’ on Thursdays ‘leven miles fer fun!
An’ they run a four-mile in Indian style by sprintin’ t’ the head o’ the queue.
They’re crazy eights! – them NavyLights Eights – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.
An’ in Hubbard Hall there’s Coker drills an’ you’d swear their minds was blew!
Liftin’-an’-sprintin’-up-down three decks till their bony bodies was blue.
Aye! You bet they’re crazy! but they ain’t lazy! – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.

You could say they was scraggly an’ spindly fellers an’ you’d be persac’ly right;
But don’t let yer eyes fool what yer inner head sees – them beggars have power an’ might.
They’ve more guts per ounce then any crew – an’ more temper ‘an a screamin’ shrew!
An’ they’re as-one in eights – NavyLights Eights – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.
Now that landsman larnt what all oarsmen know that when yer part uva crew,
Camaraderie’s a way-o’-life – that lubbers should yearn fer too.
The same as them eights – NavyLights Eights – Oarsmen an’ Brothers true.


Gary Arthur Lundeen, Marine
A starboard 5 from ’75—
And a Jarhead who loves Kipling!