Greenland Whale Fishery

Anonymous, 18th century

2. Now the lookout in the crosstrees high,
With his spyglass in his hand.
"There's a whale, there's a whale, there's a whalefish," he cried,
"And she blows on every strand, brave boys,
And she blows on every strand."

3. Now the captain stood on the quarter-deck,
And a fine little man was he.
"Overhaul, Overhaul! Let your davit-tackles, fall,
Til you land your boats in the sea, brave boys,
Til you land your boats for sea."

4. The boats were launched and the men on board
And the whale was in full view;
Resolved was each seaman bold
To steer where the whalefish blew, brave boys,
To steer where the whalefish blew.

5. We struck that whale and the line played out,
But she gave a flourish with her tail,
And the boat capsized and four men were drowned,
We never caught that whale, brave boys,
We never caught that whale.

6. "To lose the men," the captain cried
It grieves my heart full sore;
But oh to lose a 100 barrel whale,
It grieves me ten times more, brave boys,
It grieves me ten times more."

7. "Now the wintry star doth now appear,
So, boys, we'll anchor a weigh;
It's time to leave this cold country,.
And homeward bear away, brave boys,
Homeward bear away."

8. Oh, Greenland, is a dreadful place,
A land that's never green,
Where there's ice and snow, and the whalefishes blow
And the daylight's seldom seen, brave boys,
The daylight's seldom seen.



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