The theme here is similar to the Low German song De Kock. The melody is a German shoreside folksong particularly popular among students. From Stan Hugill:
I took part in the singing of this lively song many times in the 1920s, learning it from a young Frisian Islands seaman whose father was master in one of Laiesz's Cape-Horners earlier in this century. The sentiments given in the last verse reflect a universal belief among seamen that most cooks and stewards "cut down" so much on the sailors' grub that by the time they retired they owned rows of houses built on the illicit proceeds gained from starving poor sailors.