The Greenland Whale Fishery - folksong
this version 1906, there are many versions that differ in
details and order of verses
'Twas eighteen hundred and twenty four,
On March the eighteenth day,
We hoist our colours to the
top of the mast,
And to Greenland bore away, brave boys,
And to Greenland bore away.
Oh, the look-out up on the mainmast stood
With a spy-glass in his hand.
'There's a whale, there's a
whale, and a whale-fish,' he cried.
And she blows at every
span, brave boys,
And she blows at every span.'
The captain stood on the quarterdeck,
the ice was in his eye.
'Overhaul, overhaul, let your jib-sheet
And put your boats to sea, brave boys,
And put your
boats to sea!'
Oh, the boats got down and the men aboard,
And the whale was full in view.
Resolved, resolved was each
To steer where the whale-fish blew, brave
To steer where the whale-fish blew.
Now the harpoon struck and the lines played
But she gave such a flourish with her tail,
our boat and we lost five men,
And we could not catch that
whale, brave boys,
And we could not catch that whale.
Oh, the losing of that sperm-whale fish
It grieved our captain sore,
But the losing of those five
Oh, it grieved him ten times more, brave boys,
Oh, it grieved him ten times more.
'Up anchor now,' the captain cried,
the winter's star do appear,
It is time for to leave this
And for England we will steer, brave boys,
And for England we will steer.'
Oh, Greenland is a barren place,
place that bears no green,
Where there's ice and snow, and
And the daylight's seldom seen, brave boys,
And the daylight's seldom seen.