Richard Barr and Bernie Bruen met while serving in the Royal Navy in the 1970s aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark. With other crew members they formed a ship’s band, which went on to perform under the unlikely name The Malawi International Airways String Quartet ~ MIASQ for short, entertaining audiences in various far-flung parts of the world with their lighthearted ditties about nautical life.
Many of the songs they performed were penned by Bruen and/or Barr themselves, and it is these original offerings that are preserved here for posterity. From boozy ballads celebrating the joys of alcoholic excess and the delights of female company to laments for the bygone age of sail, they all evoke subjects close to the matelot’s heart.
In addition there are recollections from both authors of some of the more notable incidents from their naval careers. Other sections record sundry items of nostalgic interest and humorous comments ~ intentional and otherwise ~ made or overheard by the authors whilst aboard the various Royal Navy ships on which they served.
The end result is an entertaining mixture which contains ingredients that will appeal to any former sailor.