Oh! They're only little letters, but they mean a mighty lot
Not explained in dictionary, nor expressed in polyglot;
And I've learned a little lesson that I never knew before,
That we can't turn up our noses at a British Man-o'-War.

Chorus: —

For there's that about the sailors, and there's that about the ship,
That makes you think a while before you give her any lip;
And you've only got to see her, and I bet that you'll confess
That she's mighty full of meaning, is an H.M.S.

I've arrived at the conclusion that it really wouldn't pay
To kick up a rebellion were she anchored in the Bay;
For I think she's built for business, and likes a little gore,
And I'd hardly like to quarrel with a British Man-o'-War.

For I think you'd be unhappy if you weren't the best of friends,
For to have her for an enemy would hardly suit your ends;
In fact, I never saw the thing that I respected more,
Or wished so much to chum with, as a British Man-o'-War.

And if she's not a friend of yours, just leave her quite alone,
Don't come around and tease her if you prize your blood and bone;
For I'm under the impression that the day you would deplore
When you started out to meddle with a British Man-o'-War.

And if she's got an eye on you, a-cruising round your coast,
You'd better waken up a bit, and look to every post;
For I'm pretty jolly certain that you can't lie round and snore,
If your harbour's lying open to a British Man-o'-War.

And if you've had a little tiff, why! do the thing that's wise:
Just call around, take off your hat, and then apologize;
Don't foster any foolish pride, although you may feel sore;
Take my advice — don't monkey with a British Man-o'War.
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