Like her sisters before her, she’s
more than a figurehead, fishwife
Our Dolly doesn’t take kindly
to being gawped at and mocked
by rowdy folk who take liberties,
pose for selfies and pocket pieces
of Dolly to take home. A different story
if you’re about to go to sea, she will
protect you, be a beacon to bring you
back home safely. Our bonny lass
Dolly watches over the beloved Tyne,
she bears our proud history, a lifetime
of industry, shipbuilding, hard graft and coal.
A Girl In Every Port Of Call
With duty done, the hammocks swing with talk of waiting girls,
A familiar name rings out in every sea salty heart:
Mine is called 'Dolly' ……. mine is called Dolly too.
I sleep with her under my pillow, I dream of her every night,… I do too.
I know she keeps me safe,….. I know that too.
Dolly will be waiting for me on the North Shields quay, even after dark…. mine will be too.
Dolly loves me, I keep her pressed close to my chest,… Dolly loves me and my chest too.
But does Dolly really yearn for all her besotted beaus?
Does she grieve alone when the Luttine bell tolls?
Or, does she cast another sweeping, mysterious spell across the wide divide?
Eagerly anticipating the cut of a keen new blade that will once more take her out to sea?
Will she mourn when the great oceans give up their many sunken souls?
Will the knife-wielding, rival suitors clash over Dolly’s unrequited love?
Will loving dissection and briny erosion completely dispel Dolly’s contagious myth?
Only the inscrutable, waiting Dollies know.
After all, this is their seafaring tale,
And they are saying nothing.