Tuesday 9 November 2010

ABC Wednesday - Q is for Quartermaster

According to Wikipedia:- 'Quartermaster' refers to two different military occupations. In land armies, it is a term referring to an individual soldier or a unit specialising in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. It is a non-commissioned rank in many navies. In the US Navy, quartermaster is a job role linked to navigation. Aboard merchant ships, the term quartermaster usually refers to the experienced seamen assigned to bridge watches. The quartermaster's main task is to steer the ship and apply the helm orders given by the Captain or watchkeeping officers.

The Quartermaster's Song

There are snakes, snakes, snakes 
Big as garden rakes,
At the store! At the store!
There are snakes, snakes, snakes,
Big as garden rakes, at the Quartermaster's store.
ChorusMy eyes are dim I can not see.
I have not got my specs with me.
I have HEY! Not HO! got my specs with me.
There are mice, mice, mice
Running though the rice,
At the store! At the store!
There are mice, mice, mice,
Running through the rice, at the Quartermaster's store.
Continue with each of the following:3. lice - living on the mice.
4. rats - big as alley cats.
5. roaches - big as football coaches
6. watches - big as sasquaches
7. snakes - big as garden rakes
8. bears - but no one really cares
9. beavers - with little meat cleavers
10. foxes - stuffed in little boxes

The only version I know refers to ants wearing yellow pants . . .
Thank you to Denise Nesbitt and her Quality team who organise and  host this weekly meme. Click here to see more Qs.


  1. We used to sing a version of that song in the Girl Guides.

  2. Quirky, but cute. I learned a lot about the Quartermaster, that I never knew before.

  3. That song is quite funny and I like the whole thought and choice for the letter Q.

  4. Very nice post with quaint music!
    Thanks for sharing;o)

    Happy ABC Wednesday****

  5. What a great song! So this is a kind of Nursery Rhyme? Anyway it's great for students learning English! Thanks for your song!

  6. Well I can safely say I did not envisage this idea for the letter. Brilliant.

  7. Great post - I remember that song well :O)

  8. What a great idea for the theme. I was married to a former navy quartermaster (he was out of the navy when we met). I didn't even think of that for Q.

  9. Thanks for your song, love the Shadows!!

  10. What a fun, terrific post for the Q Day, Janice! I love the Quartermaster Song and the Shadows! Hope your week is off to a great start! Enjoy!


  11. The Shadows are a new "old" group for me - gee, they must have been popular before my time! The song is pretty fun too!

  12. I do remember this song - great to hear it again. Great choice for the day. A x

  13. I haven't thought of that song in years! Quite the memory "cue"!!
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  14. quaint little song!
    love the instrumental, too.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday

  15. Cute song, and interesting that quartermaster refers to different jobs in the different navies.

  16. Great post - I wouldn't have thought of quartermaster.

  17. Oh I love the song, and I know my 9 year old grandson will love it too.

  18. I have heard this song I don't know how many times, but I didn't know the title and who it sang ! that mostly happens with me !
    BTW I will see Elton John the 1st of Dec in Brussels ! Last time he came in 1986 where I saw him too !
    I bought the tickets in August already, of course it's all sold out by now.

  19. Great song and a rousing rendition.

  20. Clever take on Q! My mother used to listen to the Shadows when we were kids. She still thinks it's one of the best groups ever.

    Erika B

  21. I loved it! It's a kind of "vintage"music, and so "good"!
    Those "boys"really know about music, it's cool! :)

  22. Oh the memories! On numerous occasions I have had groups of students singing the Quartermaster's Store with their own lyric variations. I had forgotten the Shadows had recorded the song too; I probably have it on an old vinyl somewhere!

  23. I haven't heard this version - it was great tho!
    I usually do a version of it tho with kids and they love it! Thanks for reminding of it and the providing the great video!

  24. This was interesting. I did not know about the songs.
    I don't know why I did not think of the word quartermaster myself. My father was quartermaster in the US army during WWII.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Best wishes,
    Anna's abcWed.rd 7-Q


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