The Flu Pandemic


Many, many years ago my good friend (and fellow Flying Fish Sailor) Greg Henkel wrote a song about the 1918 Flu Pandemic that killed over 20 million people worldwide.

The Flu Pandemic song became one of our most popular performance pieces. Despite the grim subject matter, the song is often referred to as “a happy little ditty about death” and brings smiles and laughter to those who hear it.

The current swine flu outbreak has generated a lot of interest in the song and is driving a lot of traffic to the band web site.

The song is available on our Loch Ness Monster CD which is available @ or from us directly.

Interestingly enough, there is a live version of the song that was recorded at Rockefeller’s during Son Of Blarneyfest in 1996 that I almost forgot existed. It predates the Loch Ness Monster studio recording by several years.

You can listen to it here:

The Flu Pandemic

Copyright 1999 Topmast Production and the Flying Fish Sailors

Chorus: It was the Flu pandemic
And it swept the whole world wide
It caught soldiers and civilians
And they died, died, died!
Whether they’re lying in the trenches
Or lying in their beds
Twenty million of them got it
And they’re dead, dead, dead!

There was a soldier on the battleground in 1917
He turned there to his buddy with his face a ghastly green
He said “We made it both through Passchendaele, the Somme, and Flanders too
But now my number’s up my lad for I’ve gone and caught the flu”


Well a nurse was in the hospital when Tommy was brought in
When he sneezed she caught a face full that was flying in the wind
She wrote a letter home to England to tell them of her plight
But the letter never got there ’cause the postman too had died


From the meadow-lands of Somerset and o’er the bounding main
To the shores of old Americay they sung the same refrain
Mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts as well as the odd nephew
Brothers and sisters and bosses and lovers were all got by the flu


Well a farmer out in China watched his family dropping down
And a businessman in Cairo hit the street without a sound
And an eager little Bolshevik in old Sevastopol couldn’t keep up his grinnin’ at Lenin as Comrade Virus took its toll

Hurricane Preparedness Drinks

1 1/2 oz. Absolut Ruby Red vodka
1/2 oz. vermouth
Prune juice
Combine vodka and vermouth in cocktail glass. Fill remainder of glass with equal parts clamato and prune juice. Stir. Drink. Ask next-door neighbor whose ficus tree blew over and crashed onto your roof– even though you’d warned him for months to uproot it–if you can use his bathroom. Repeat.

1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. rum
1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. gin
Sweet-and-sour mix
Splash of fruit juice
Combine vodka, tequila, rum, bourbon and gin in a tall glass. Fill remainder of glass with sweet-and-sour mix and splash of juice. Stir, then garnish with an inverted drink umbrella. Drink during peak storm hours, and vow not to believe anyone who tries to tell you the hurricane that flooded your garage and destroyed your shed was just a Category 1.

1 oz. cinnamon schnapps
1 sugar cone
Pour the schnapps into the sugar cone. Every time you hear a TV weatherman say, “cone of probability,” bite off the end of the cone and down the shot. If you hear Weather Channel StormTracker Jim Cantore say it, drink two shots consecutively. (they should change this to the “Cantore Zone”… damn him.) Have you ever noticed that, despite all the cone of probability talk, if Cantore is parked in front of your house your ass is toast?)

2 oz. Midori
2 oz. rum
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
After your home loses power, combine Midori and rum in a cocktail glass. Add a scoop of the vanilla ice cream that is melting in your freezer. Stir, and drink through a straw.

1 1/2 oz. Goldschläger
1 1/2 oz. apple brandy
1 pack Sugar in the Raw
Combine Goldschläger, apple brandy and sugar in cocktail glass. As you drink, seriously contemplate moving your Yankee ass back to New Jersey where it belongs.

1 1/2 oz. rum
5 oz. Jolt Cola
Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass. Drink while trying to figure out how the heck you’re supposed to go two freakin’ weeks without television and AC.

2 oz. Kahlúa
2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
4 oz. rum
Serve in a 6-ounce glass and laugh-cry deliriously as the mess spills all over the countertop.

2 oz. Blue Aftershock
4 oz. Sprite
Combine in a cocktail glass with crushed ice you received after waiting in line for three hours at a mall parking lot. Take a deep breath, sip and scream like a little girl when the cold beverage hits your tongue. Repeat.

1 oz. Jack Daniel’s
Splash of sarsaparilla
Rock salt
Load both barrels of a shotgun with rock salt. Climb to the roof of your house with gun, bottle of Jack Daniel’s and can of sarsaparilla. Fill shot glass with Jack and splash of sarsaparilla. Watch for looters. When you spot one, blast his ass with rock salt. Drink shot. Repeat.

1 oz. Goldschläger
1 oz. Rumplemintz
3 oz. Jim Beam
Splash of vermouth
Combine Goldschläger, Rumplemintz and Jim Beam in an empty soup can. Add splash of vermouth. Drink. Remove chain saw from garage and attempt to cut up fallen tree limbs in yard. Ask neighbor to drive you to hospital when it all goes horribly wrong.

1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Midori
1 1/2 oz. vodka and Galliano
1 1/2 oz. vodka and grenadine
Pour each ingredient into a separate shot glass. Serve one to yourself and three other people. The person with the clear shot of vodka drinks first. The person to his right drinks the Midori shot, and so on. If somebody drinks out of order, develop a quick case of road rage and beat the living crap out of him.

1 1/2 oz. Curacao
2 oz. pineapple juice
Splash of lime
Combine ingredients in a leaky paper cup and serve. Wait six to eight months for someone to repair the cup. If you’re impatient, hire an unlicensed, out-of- state contractor to do the job for an exorbitant sum and pray he doesn’t hurt himself in the process.

1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
2 oz. sloe gin
Tonic water
One week after the storm has passed and your neighborhood is still in ruins with no sign of help on the way, combine Southern Comfort and gin in a cocktail glass. Fill remainder with tonic and add a dash of Angostura bitters. Serve with a nut brownie. Before drinking, raise the glass and say the toast, “Doing a helluva job Brownie.”

Day 5 (still no power)

Candle and Radio

Candle and Radio

The Jensen radio you see in the above picture has been running pretty steady in the same two Double A batteries since Friday night. Pretty amazing. Also our primary source of information and entertainment at the house.

Cynthia and I are getting a little loopy. I was telling her about the tiger that’s running loose on Crystal Beach and she said “imagine some poor couple, surveying their flattened home and she turns and says ‘oh honey, we’ve lost everything…but at least we have each other‘ ROWRGRRAHHH! OH MY GOD!”

Puts things in perspective for us. Yea, we have no power and probably won’t have power till next week. But the weather has been good so we’re not drowning in our own sweat. The house is basically fine. There is an end in site and we have fared pretty well.

At least we aren’t looking at a concrete slab where our house used to be and having to avoid being eaten by a tiger…

Speaking of being eaten alive, the Life Boat Sketch by Monty Python has been running through my head. Cynthia’s always happy to learn my thought have once again turned to cannibalism.

Second Sailor: Yes. We can’t go hold out much longer, sir. We haven’t had any food since the fifth day.
Third Sailor: We’re done for, we’re done for!
First Sailor: Shut up, Maudling. We’ve just got to keep hoping someone will find us.
Fourth Sailor: How are you feeling, captain?
Fifth Sailor: Not too good … I … feel … so weak.
Second Sailor: We can’t hold out much longer.
Fifth Sailor: Listen … chaps … there’s one last chance. I’m done for, I’ve got a gammy leg, I’m going fast, I’ll never get through … but … some of you might … so you’d better eat me.
First Sailor: Eat you, sir?
Fifth Sailor: Yes. Eat me.
Second Sailor: Uuuuggghhh! With a gammy leg?
Fifth Sailor: You don’t have to eat the leg, Thompson, there’s still plenty of good meat … look at that arm.
Third Sailor: It’s not just the leg, sir.
Fifth Sailor: What do you mean?
Third Sailor: Well, sir … it’s just that …
Fifth Sailor: Why don’t you want to eat me?
Third Sailor: I’d rather eat Johnson, sir. (he points at fourth sailor)
Second Sailor: Oh, so would I, sir.
Fifth Sailor: I see.
Fourth Sailor: Well, that’s settled then. Everyone eats me.
First Sailor: Well … I … er …
Third Sailor: What, sir?
First Sailor: No, no, you go ahead, I won’t …
Fourth Sailor: Nonsense, nonsense, sir, you’re starving. Tuck in!
First Sailor: No, no, it’s not just that …
Second Sailor: What’s the matter with Johnson, sir?
First Sailor: Well, he’s not kosher.
Third Sailor: That depends how we kill him, sir.
First Sailor: Yes, yes, I see that … well to be quite frank, I like my meat a little more lean. I’d rather eat Hodges.
Second Sailor: (cheerfully) Oh well … all right.
Third Sailor: No, I’d still prefer Johnson.
Fifth Sailor: I wish you’d all stop bickering and eat me.
Second Sailor: Look! I’ll tell you what. Why don’t those of us who want to, eat Johnson, then you, sir, can eat my leg and then we’ll make a stock of the Captain and then after that we can eat the rest of Johnson cold for supper.
First Sailor: Good thinking, Hodges.
Fourth Sailor: And we’ll finish off with the peaches. (picks up a tin of peaches)
Third Sailor: And we can start off with the avocados. (picks up a two avocados)
First Sailor: Waitress! (a waitress walks in) We’ve decided now, we’re going to have leg of Hodges …