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Description

Ferrying Hooves to the Front is a song written about the mule ship SS LEYSIAN (formerly SS SERAK) wrecked at Abercastle, Pembrokeshire in 1917.

The song was written and performed by volunteer diver Duncan Ross while he was at the Abercastle for the U-boat Project / Nautical Archaeology Society field school in June 2019. It captures the mysterious story of the LEYSIAN wreck.

Ferrying Hooves to the Front

The ship it belonged to the Hun
We took her and made her our own
SERAK was gone and LEYSIAN born
Our Great War adventure began

At the front it was soon realised
More than weapons and endless supplies
Hooves were not there, we were going nowhere
The horse and the mule soon arrived

Sail, sail on
On the LEYSIAN
Doing our duty for God and King
Ferrying hooves to the front

I dreamt of going to war
Gallant sailors, young ladies at dawn
There were no goody bells
Only Atlantic swells
Me up to my knees in manure

50 cents a day was my pay
Count yourself lucky they’d say
Such a miserly fee for the graft I put in
Surely the beasts had it better than me

Sail, sail on
On the LEYSIAN
Doing our duty for God and King
Ferrying hooves to the front

For two years we rode the high seas
In our trusty ship driven by steam
She was our home
Kept us safe in the storm
The finest girl you’ve ever seen

But we came to a curious end
Abercastle we did run aground
But no fuss was made
And every life saved
No glory, but luck was our friend

Sail, sail on
On the LEYSIAN
Doing our duty for God and King
Ferrying hooves to the front

Accounts of her end are conflicting
Did the U-boat leave LEYSIAN stricken?
Was she lost in the fog?
At her mutinous mob
Who probably always be pressing?

But one thing for sure
She is there
Steel plates piled up in the Bay
LEYSIAN sleeps and her secret she keeps
Maybe it should be that way

Sail, sail on
On the LEYSIAN
Doing our duty for God and King
Ferrying hooves to the front

Brave souls, brave souls
Thousand miles from home
Into the waves, or into the grave
Ferrying hooves to the front
Ferrying hooves to the front

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