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Why don't black Americans swim?
BBC News ^ | 7th April 2012 | Finlo Rohrer

Posted on 04/07/2012 2:43:19 PM PDT by the scotsman

'A month ago, six African-American teenagers drowned in a single incident in Louisiana, prompting soul-searching about why so many young black Americans can't swim.

When 15-year-old DeKendrix Warner accidentally stepped into deeper water while wading in the Red River in Shreveport, he panicked.

JaTavious Warner, 17, Takeitha Warner, 13, JaMarcus Warner, 14, Litrelle Stewart, 18, Latevin Stewart, 15, and LaDarius Stewart, 17, rushed to help him and each other.

None of them could swim. All six drowned. DeKendrix was rescued by a passer-by.

Maude Warner, mother of three of the victims, and the other adults present also couldn't swim.

The US has almost 3,500 accidental drownings every year, almost 10 a day. But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatal drowning rate of African-American children aged five-14 is three times that of white children.

A recent study sponsored by USA Swimming uncovered equally stark statistics. Just under 70% of African-American children surveyed said they had no or low ability to swim. Low ability merely meant they were able to splash around in the shallow end. A further 12% said they could swim but had "taught themselves".

The study found 58% of Hispanic children had no or low swimming ability. For white children, the figure was only 42%.

"It is an epidemic that is almost going unnoticed," says Sue Anderson, director of programmes and services at USA Swimming.

The swimming body would like all children to be taught to swim.

"We would like it to be like seatbelts and bicycle helmets," says Ms Anderson.

But the situation in the US can vary hugely even within a single state.'

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Louisiana; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: swimming
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To: the scotsman

Not saying a word. Not a word.


151 posted on 04/07/2012 4:20:38 PM PDT by Sequoyah101 (Half the people are below average.)
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To: Thorliveshere
Living along the Yukon River, where all the kids swim during short hot summer, in the awful cold water; also in backwater sloughs. Most all the Indians & White kids can swim to shore if need be. The kids float down a few miles in tubes everyday. We have had young Indian kids fall in river and drown, but usually poor parenting is the reason; you don't let 2 year olds play nx to the river. We don't have any Black People within 300 miles of our community; don't know if they swim much.

One of my relatives in the military (para-rescue) told me reason why no Blacks in his unit is because they are such poor swimmers; something you have to be able to do in that field, no joke.

152 posted on 04/07/2012 4:22:14 PM PDT by Eska
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To: the scotsman

It’s because you can’t bounce a ball on the bottom of a pool.


153 posted on 04/07/2012 4:23:51 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Tailback

I hope that young man learned to swim.
He just panicked, that’s all.


154 posted on 04/07/2012 4:25:29 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Iron Munro

LMAO!


155 posted on 04/07/2012 4:27:29 PM PDT by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (I love you,Pumpkin. You are the best cat in the world. You're my Sweet Pea.)
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To: TASMANIANRED

One of the best survival techniques while bound in a pool is to bounce off the bottom.
Get air, exhale.. descend.. bounce.. lather rinse repeat.


156 posted on 04/07/2012 4:29:18 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: MarineBrat
The answer is simple. Every kid and every parent I’ve ever known learned to swim from their parents or their parent’s appointee. We learned as small children because we were taught. It’s not rocket science, but parents must treat it as a rite of parenthood to teach their children to swim, or to have someone else teach them.

If a culture other than mine doesn’t feel that way then let them reap the results like men. Take the good with the bad. It is what it is and that’s all there is to it.

THAT is a 100 percent frameable post. God bless all people who teach little kids how to swim. It's easy -- people are naturally well-equipped to swim. Babies can learn how to "swim" before they're a year old.

157 posted on 04/07/2012 4:29:32 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent (By the way, Ted, voting for Romney is voting stupid.))
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To: PGR88
I don’t know about swimming, but when I played high school baseball, the teams from the inner-city schools didn’t wear baseball caps, they wore shower caps - to protect their hairdos and Jerry-curls.

Seems to be dying out.

We would regularly see them wearing rolled up old nylons for caps, rolled up paper bags, plastic bags - if they could get it to fit on their heads they would wear it.

Not seen so much anymore.


158 posted on 04/07/2012 4:29:36 PM PDT by Iron Munro (If Repub's paid as much attention to Rush Limbaugh as the Dem's do, we wouldn't be in this mess)
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To: Harold Shea
Float? Swim? Well, here's a take from 1913...and not about black people.

Sailing Down the Chesapeake Bay
Words by Jean C. Havez, Music by George Botsford

Verse 1: 'Round the bend I see the steamer comin' dear,
Headin' here, to this pier;
If you hurry we will make it, never fear,
On the old Dominion Line.

Ain't she sailing pretty as she hugs the shore,
Steamin' for Baltimore.
Hear the paddles turnin', Hear the water churning,
She's the queen of Chesapeake Bay!

Chorus: Come on, Nancy, put your best dress on!
Come on, Nancy, 'fore the steamboats gone.
Everything is lovely on the Chesapeake Bay,
All aboard for Baltimore, and if we're late they'll all be sore!

Now look here, Captain, let's catch that boat,
We can't swim, and brother, we can't float!
Banjoes strumming a good old tune,
Up on deck is the place to spoon.
Cuddled up close beneath the silv'ry moon,
Sailing down the Chesapeake Bay.

159 posted on 04/07/2012 4:30:24 PM PDT by SAJ (What is the next tagline some overweening mod will censor?)
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To: rbg81
And lets not even talk about why African Americans don’t ski.

...or yacht.

160 posted on 04/07/2012 4:31:27 PM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: MIchaelTArchangel
...cats can’t swim.

Correction: cat's don't like to swim. Except tigers. They'll leap into a river and swim to a boat to chow down on humans!

161 posted on 04/07/2012 4:31:44 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent (By the way, Ted, voting for Romney is voting stupid.))
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To: the scotsman

Here it is. You knew it was coming.

‘The major reason behind the problem could lie in the era of segregation says Prof Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America.

“The history of discrimination… has contributed to the drowning and swimming rates,” says Prof Wiltse.

In his work he identified two periods of a boom in swimming rates in the US - in the 1920s and 1930s when recreational swimming became popular and the 1950s and 1960s when the idea of swimming as a sport really took off.

There are historical reasons why black children do not learn to swim
The first boom was marked by the construction of about 2,000 new municipal pools across the nation.

“Black Americans were largely and systematically denied access to those pools,” he notes.

“Swimming never became a part of African- American recreational culture.”

In the northern US that segregation in pools ended in the 1940s and early 1950s, but many white swimmers responded by abandoning the municipal pools and heading off to private clubs in the suburbs where segregation continued to be enforced.

“Municipal pools became a low public priority,” he notes.

After the race riots of the 1960s, many cities did start building pools in predominantly black areas, says Prof Wiltse, but there was still a problem. Many of the new pools were small - often only 20 by 40ft (six by 12m) and 3.5ft (1m) deep.

Continue reading the main story
Theories for low black American swimming rates
Propagation of incorrect scientific theories such as black people being much less buoyant
Historic factors going as far back as slaves not being allowed to learn to swim
Denial of access to pools in 1920s and 30s causing ripple effect to present day
Lack of municipal pools in predominantly black neighbourhoods in 1960s onwards
Perception of swimming as elitist or white sport

“They didn’t really accommodate swimming. They attracted young kids who would stand in them and splash about. There really wasn’t an effort to teach African-American children to swim in these pools.”

Although there are many poor or working class white children who cannot swim for similar reasons, swimming has gained an image as a “white sport”.’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11172054

It be da white debil’s fault.


162 posted on 04/07/2012 4:33:06 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: mylife

Yeah, the last parts of that class were hands and feet lightly bound, so you could get out if you were seriously in trouble. But then you had to re-take the test.


163 posted on 04/07/2012 4:33:24 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: the scotsman

Blacks live primarily in nnner cities. They simply are not introduced to water in the city. Blacks in the South that live near lakes, river, streams, and oceans swim all thetime. I never knew a black kid not to swim. They swam just fine.


164 posted on 04/07/2012 4:34:41 PM PDT by CodeToad (I'm so right-wing if I lifted my left leg I'd go into a spin.)
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To: TASMANIANRED

Its hard to hold a basketball under water.
You’ll Bob to the top.

It’s funny, we used to try to stay down with the ball.

Then I remember us making a diving helmet with an old pickle crock.
We cut a section out and inserted plexiglass, then we drilled a hole for the bicycle pump...

It didn’t work LoL the crock kept floating off!!


165 posted on 04/07/2012 4:36:49 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: sphinx
Most black folks are urban, and there are plenty of pools around

If you say so......Maybe in your URBAN area but not in URBAN DETROIT.........

166 posted on 04/07/2012 4:38:10 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco
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To: FreedomPoster

It was a long time ago. I don’t recall all the details, but they did tie us.
I passed easily


167 posted on 04/07/2012 4:38:30 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Sirius Lee
launched off thirty feed of rope swing and being given the choice of drowning or swimming back to shore.

That's how I learned to ride a bike. Top of the hill, get pushed downhill, go as far as you can and then crash.

168 posted on 04/07/2012 4:38:47 PM PDT by ladyjane
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I was 4% body fat at the time


169 posted on 04/07/2012 4:39:15 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: CatherineofAragon

“Sorry, but to me that smacks of the liberal attitude that blacks are incapable of taking care of themselves, making their own decisions, and so WE have to take them in hand and do something for them. “

Utter nonsense, read some responses. There is something either physiological or cultural going on. I am not pandering for heaven’s sake.


170 posted on 04/07/2012 4:40:46 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: GreatRoad

In Africa, I think if you go into the water, you don’t come out...crocs and such. Probably inhibits learning to swim somewhat.


171 posted on 04/07/2012 4:40:59 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Roccus
Swimming lessons cost money.

Do it the old fashioned way: row out to the middle of the lake and toss them overboard - if they can get out of the gunny sack the swimming part will come naturally.

Disclaimer That was light-hearted sarcasm and in now way intended to be racist. Old fashioned applies to whites as well as other ethnicity. If you or your loved one's are offended seek professional help immediately, it could be symptoms associated with thin skin, a common condition associated with lose undergarments in a bunch. If humorless conditions persists it could signal the onslaught of seriousness. Seriousness is a serious condition with side effects of joylessness and constipation. See your doctor.

172 posted on 04/07/2012 4:41:33 PM PDT by DaveyB (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. -John Adams)
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To: Hot Tabasco

“Because the majority of blacks live in areas where swimming facilities are not available to them.....”

I must disagree, most live in the inner city do they not? All of our big cities have public pools.

As for the ski team, I’ll agree with you.


173 posted on 04/07/2012 4:41:45 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Valpal1
Swimming is the perfect exercise even when you’re an arthritic old fart.

Yep. It does everything better except one: bone density. As a primary swimmer, I make sure I emphasize weight-bearing and hill walking when I don't swim. Swimming has my resting heart rate at 57, which is athlete class, and believe me ... I'm no athlete.

174 posted on 04/07/2012 4:42:23 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent (By the way, Ted, voting for Romney is voting stupid.))
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To: sphinx
It's one thing to hang out and splash around in a public pool, it's a totally different thing to learn how to swim while you are there........parental guidance has nothing to do with it.

And while you cite the public pools being filled, those numbers of splashers are just a fraction of the population who don't even bother to use them.........

175 posted on 04/07/2012 4:42:41 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco
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To: the scotsman

I wonder if the answer is this simple: It’s safe to swim in North American and European freshwater. Freshwater in most of Africa and Latin America isn’t very... well... fresh.


176 posted on 04/07/2012 4:43:06 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dewawi

“It is time consuming but caring parents do it.”

==

I agree. I did it with my five. Outdoor city pool in the summer,YMCA indoor pool in the winter.

They are all excellent swimmers,as are my grandchildren.


177 posted on 04/07/2012 4:43:24 PM PDT by Mears (Alcohol. Tobacco. Firearms. What's not to like?)
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To: JudyinCanada

Bull Shite! Shreveport and every other city has FREE swimming lessons at the public pools there’s probably Billion dollar grants for it. Another poster was exactly correct in noting that black parents (?) don’t give a damn enough to see that their kids learn ANYTHING much less swimming. Heck they can’t play basketball or sell crack while swimming, why bother to learn.


178 posted on 04/07/2012 4:43:44 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: mylife

I was 5’5” and weighed about 90 lbs when I learned to swim. At the age of 15, I was 5’6” and weighed 100-105, and was practicing with the swim team.


179 posted on 04/07/2012 4:45:18 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: LibertarianLiz

Swimming is one sport that seems to be dominated by whitey Northern European types.


180 posted on 04/07/2012 4:45:49 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent (By the way, Ted, voting for Romney is voting stupid.))
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To: the scotsman

Most familiar with Shreveport have to grin at the names Holder’s People lay on their offspring. It always seemed especially big in Shreeepoot.


181 posted on 04/07/2012 4:46:25 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: PapaBear3625

“——blacks have higher bone density than whites”

==

I’ll be darned,I didn’t know that. Could be an explanation.


182 posted on 04/07/2012 4:46:43 PM PDT by Mears (Alcohol. Tobacco. Firearms. What's not to like?)
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To: South Hawthorne

Actually Maine Coon cats are good swimmers. If exposed they like the water. A friend of mine had one on his sailboat for years. The cat loved to swim.


183 posted on 04/07/2012 4:46:43 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: the scotsman

When 70% of ANY group fails to teach their children basic water safety, then they have grossly failed as parents & as a group.

After teaching me the basics of swimming, my dad threw me off the pier when I was too scared to jump. I imagine many fathers did the same thing with their children. Thank you, Dad.


184 posted on 04/07/2012 4:48:14 PM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: ladyjane

Maine Coon cats are remarkable.


185 posted on 04/07/2012 4:48:41 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: AbnSarge

You mean he outweighed his lung flotation ability? He’d have negative boyancy at complete stillness — not even his torso to the surface? Wow ...


186 posted on 04/07/2012 4:49:12 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent (By the way, Ted, voting for Romney is voting stupid.))
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To: Hot Tabasco
I hate public pools!

Im not so sure ponds, creeks, lakes, rivers or the ocean are much better ☺

187 posted on 04/07/2012 4:49:12 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: the scotsman

I was thrown in a pool at about 1 years old by my dad.


188 posted on 04/07/2012 4:49:21 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Finny

Cullen Jones begs to differ.


189 posted on 04/07/2012 4:50:11 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Meet the New Boss

Only the government can cure the “pool desert” crisis.


190 posted on 04/07/2012 4:51:23 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: the scotsman

I think genetics play a role whites float, blacks don’t.


191 posted on 04/07/2012 4:51:29 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Lady Lucky

The one here is only a couple bucks for a resident and is pretty inexpensive for the season pass. That place is great in the summer for kids and families. Of course, we are also 1 mile from Lake Michigan, so kids should know how to deal with water. You can guess which kids don’t.


192 posted on 04/07/2012 4:52:17 PM PDT by ozaukeemom (No to Romney, no how, no way, no money, no vote)
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To: HIDEK6
I think this is related to the fears that blacks have of "acting white."

The "victim card" has a lot to do with it, too.

193 posted on 04/07/2012 4:52:31 PM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: ladyjane

You are going to get it now.....


194 posted on 04/07/2012 4:53:22 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: mylife

I don’t know which branch of service this was. If this was the Army he was “HIGHLY ENCOURAGED” to learn to swim. Every Army base pool has/had free adult beginner swim lessons. This was my experience back in the late 80’s early 90’s.

If this was the Navy or Marines I think they had to actually learn to swim to pass boot camp, but that’s anecdotal. Perhaps our Navy or Marine brothers can comment.

If this was the air force, they sent the young man to counseling over his PTSD from jumping in a pool.


195 posted on 04/07/2012 4:53:50 PM PDT by Tailback
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To: mylife; dangerdoc
"Carl Maxie Brashear (January 19, 1931 – July 25, 2006) was the first African American to become a U.S. Navy Master Diver in 1970."

Great movie, too - "Men of Honor" - on the obstacles he overcame to become the first black Master Diver.

196 posted on 04/07/2012 4:55:17 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: dangus
It’s safe to swim in North American and European freshwater. Freshwater in most of Africa and Latin America isn’t very... well... fresh.

Well, I guess that could excuse all the black people who used to live in Africa.

197 posted on 04/07/2012 4:56:10 PM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: trisham

We kids taught ourselves.
There was a life guard.
It was just a country lake
We paid a couple bucks to get in from money we had earned, swim, watch the girls, fish and maybe get a dreamsickle.

We’d ride our bikes 4 mi out there along a heavy truck route with no adult supervision.
Ahh to be a kid again.


198 posted on 04/07/2012 4:57:02 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I had heard of the film.
I’ll make a point to watch it


199 posted on 04/07/2012 4:58:13 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Harold Shea
Float? Swim? Well, here's a take from 1913...and not about black people.

Sailing Down the Chesapeake Bay
Words by Jean C. Havez, Music by George Botsford

Verse 1: 'Round the bend I see the steamer comin' dear,
Headin' here, to this pier;
If you hurry we will make it, never fear,
On the old Dominion Line.

Ain't she sailing pretty as she hugs the shore,
Steamin' for Baltimore.
Hear the paddles turnin', Hear the water churning,
She's the queen of Chesapeake Bay!

Chorus: Come on, Nancy, put your best dress on!
Come on, Nancy, 'fore the steamboats gone.
Everything is lovely on the Chesapeake Bay,
All aboard for Baltimore, and if we're late they'll all be sore!

Now look here, Captain, let's catch that boat,
We can't swim, and brother, we can't float!
Banjoes strumming a good old tune,
Up on deck is the place to spoon.
Cuddled up close beneath the silv'ry moon,
Sailing down the Chesapeake Bay.

200 posted on 04/07/2012 4:58:40 PM PDT by SAJ (What is the next tagline some overweening mod will censor?)
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