A mass demonstration by Drunken Sailors has been planned after key lyrics were removed from a nursery rhyme by a government-funded books project, after they were deemed "offensive".
The Bookstart charity claims the words "Drunken Sailor", and the line "Put him in the brig until he's sober," are offensive to young listeners, and may, in some circumstances, lead to the glamourisation of alcohol and its effects, and to an increase in alcohol consumption, and, as a consequence, liver disease.
Instead the hard-drinking sea shanty has been turned into something gentler, with the substitution of "Grumpy Pirates" instead of the inebriated seamen and the 'brig' line lyrics changed to the funnier "Tickle him till he starts to giggle."
The changes are a result of complaints in 2006 about pre-school children attending two nurseries in Oxfordshire being taught "Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep", and another incident last year where a story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale met with protests by a government agency's awards panel as they said the subject matter could offend Muslims.
A digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who warned that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues".
Irish drunken sailor, Thomas Nelson told us that thousands of drunken sailors would be leaving their shop doorways and joing the demonstration in London on 1st April. He said:
"Ohhhh, Boney was a...uh warrior,
A uh warrior, warr-ior...