Ken Barton Sails Into Retirement

Bill Dennison ·
24 January 2020


Ken Barton's retirement party group photo. Photo credit: Jamie Currie

On May 16th, 2019, we had a retirement party for Ken Barton. Ken worked for the Integration and Application Network (IAN), University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science as the Business Manager, helping to grow the enterprise from a small operation with a few staff to a vibrant enterprise with many staff. Ken did virtually everything that needed to be done for IAN, including human resources, bookkeeping and accounting, proposal writing, travel arrangements, managing office equipment and supplies, ordering computers and materials, taking out the garbage, etc. Ken worried about the things that needed to be done for IAN to remain functional so that the rest of the staff could focus on the exciting projects that have taken us to the far corners of the globe. The following is the song sheet that we performed at his retirement party.

Ken Barton giving a speech regarding his retirement. Photo credit: Bill Dennison

Ken Barton has been sailing his whole life. As a small boy, he sailed in dinghies. As a young man, he attended the State University of New York Maritime Academy. Ken joined the NOAA Corps and spent years on the crew and eventually as captain of various NOAA ships. After retiring from NOAA, Ken was looking for something to do when he was not sailing on various private sailboats. Ken joined the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and was instrumental in growing the Integration and Application Network, or IAN, over the course of a decade. While Ken was busy with a myriad of IAN tasks, he found time to partner with his friend Bruce and purchase the Integrity, a sailing yacht on which Ken plans to sail into retirement.

Since this event commemorates the last sea voyage that Ken will take with IAN, we thought a sea voyage would be a nice send off.

Ken Barton in his cardboard boat "Integrity" with Bill Dennison leading one of the songs.
Photo credit: Jamie Currie

The sloop Integrity (sung by Ken) to the tune of “The Sloop John B”

We come on the sloop Integrity
My best friend Bruce and me
Around Eastport we did roam
Drinking all night
Got into a fight
Well I feel so broke up I want to retire

So hoist up the Integrity’s sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for Heath and Bill ashore
Let me retire, let me retire
I want to retire, yeah yeah
Well I feel so broke up
I want to retire.

See how the mainsail sets
Call for Heath and Bill ashore
Let me retire, let me retire
I want to retire, yeah yeah
Well I feel so broke up
I want to retire.

My friend Bruce he got drunk
And slept in the wrong bunk
The Mayor had to come and take him away
Mayor Gavin Buckley
Why don’t you leave me alone, yeah yeah
Well I feel so broke up
I want to retire

So hoist up the Integrity’s sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for Heath and Bill ashore
Let me retire, let me retire
I want to retire, yeah yeah
Well I feel so broke up
I want to retire.

What shall we do with a retirin’ Barton? (sung by IAN) to the tune of “What shall we do with a drunken sailor”

What shall we do with a retirin’ Barton,
What shall we do with a retirin’ Barton,
What shall we do with a retirin’ Barton,
Ear-lie in the morning

Hoo-ray and up he rises
Hoo-ray and up he rises
Hoo-ray and up he rises
Ear-lie in the morning

Shave his belly with a rusty razor
Shave his belly with a rusty razor
Shave his belly with a rusty razor
Ear-lie in the morning

Hoo-ray and up he rises
Hoo-ray and up he rises
Hoo-ray and up he rises
Ear-lie in the morning

Put him in the bilge and make him drink it
Put him in the bilge and make him drink it
Put him in the bilge and make him drink it
Ear-lie in the morning

What shall we do with a retirin’ Barton,
What shall we do with a retirin’ Barton,
What shall we do with a retirin’ Barton,
Ear-lie in the morning

Put him on Integrity and wave goodbye
Put him on Integrity and wave goodbye
Put him on Integrity and wave goodbye
Ear-lie in the morning

Hoo-ray and up he rises
Hoo-ray and up he rises
Hoo-ray and up he rises
Ear-lie in the morning.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum (sung by Dottie Samonisky & pirates) sung to the tune of “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum”

Fifteen proposals all due today
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
ORAA and the devil made Ken’s day
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Bill and Heath are far away
Ken has to make it all okay
And deadlines mean no delay
The bills coming in, not one but ten
And it happens again and again
Thank God for good old Ken
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Fifteen proposals all due today
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
ORAA and the devil made Ken’s day
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Go Sail Away (sung by IAN) to the tune of “Come Sail Away”

Ken’s sailing away, set an open course for the open sea
‘Cause he’s got to be free, free to face retirement that’s ahead you see
On board, he’s the captain, so climb aboard
He’ll search for tomorrow on every shore
And we’ll try, oh Lord, we’ll try to carry on

He looks to the sea, reflections in the waves spark his memory
Some happy, some sad
He thinks of IAN friends and the dreams we had
IAN lived happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow IAN missed out on that pot of gold
But we’ll try best that we can to carry on

A gathering of angels appeared above Ken’s head
They sang to him this song of hope, and this is what they said
They said go sail away, go sail away
Go sail away with Bruce now
Go sail away, go sail away
Go sail away with Bruce

Go sail away, go sail away
Go sail away with Bruce now
Go sail away, go sail away
Go sail away with Bruce

Beyond UMCES (sung by Ken) to the tune of “Beyond the Sea”

Somewhere beyond UMCES
Someone waiting for me
My lover stands on golden sands
And watches the ships that go sailing

Somewhere beyond UMCES
He’s there watching for me
If I could fly like birds on high
Then straight to his arms
I’d go sailing

It’s far beyond the stars
It’s near beyond the moon
I know beyond a doubt
My heart will lead me there soon

We’ll meet beyond the shore
We’ll kiss just as before
Happy we’ll be beyond UMCES
And never again I’ll do budgets

No more UMCES
So long UMCES
Bye, bye UMCES . . .

One of the retirement cakes for Ken. Photo credit: Bill Dennison

About the author

Bill Dennison

Dr. Bill Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network.



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