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by Mrs. Marguerite Merman

coast surveyor dressed as phillipine native circa 1935To be sung to the tune of “Oh! Susanna”

We’ve a job that’s full of pep and vim,
We’re in the Coast Survey
Where there’s bound to be excitement,
In our work from day to day.
We climb the highest mountains,
And we sail the roughest sea
Just to plot the charts and make the maps,
Of this our fair country.

Hi, there neighbor, we’re in the Coast Survey,
A-plotting and a-charting maps of this our U.S.A.

We’ve measured all the ocean deeps,
With a fathometer neat
And we’ve shown where all the dangers are,
Enough to sink a fleet.
We’ve surveyed all the harbors,
And we’ve topographed the coast,
And we know our charts are accurate,
‘Cause that’s our proudest boast.

Hi, there sailor, you want a chart, you say,
Then hurry down to Washington and see the Coast Survey.

We’ve run our levels north and south,
And east and west beside
And planted bench marks everywhere,
They’re scattered far and wide.
We’ve climbed up high steel towers,
Just to show our lights at night
So our latitudes and longitudes,
Are bound to be just right.

Hi, there observer, we’ll get those closures yet,
We’ll reobserve our measurements until they do connect.

We observe the tides and currents,
And predict them far ahead,
And we make those aeronautical charts,
Which are by pilots read,
We study all the earthquakes,
And try to find out,
Where the earth began its shakes,
And where the epicenters lie.

Hi, there sportsman, do you want to catch a trout?
Then check the tables for high tides, that’s when the fish come out.

And when the field work’s finished,
And all observations done,
They send them to the office,
Where computing is begun.
The mathematics experts,
And the draftsmen by the score
The computers and the rest of us,
Turn out the stuff galore.

Hi, there neighbor, we’re in the Coast Survey,
A-plotting and a-charting maps of this our U.S.A.

In: “The Buzzard,” Vol. 7, no. 52, p. 5. December 26, 1940.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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