Paul Clayton – The Greenland Whale Fisheries Lyrics

‘Twas in eighteen hundred and forty-one
And of June the thirteenth day
That our gallant ship her anchor a-weighed
And to Greenland bore away, brave boys
To Greenland bore away

Now the lookout in the crosstrees stood
With his spyglass in his hand
“There’s a whale, there’s a whale
There’s a whalefish,” he cried
“She blows on every strand, brave boys
She blows on every strand.”

The captain stood on the quarter-deck
And a fine little man was he
“Overhaul! Overhaul! Let your davit-tackles fall
Till you land your boats in the sea, brave boys
Till you land your boats in the sea”

Now the boats were launched, the men aboard
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

We struck that whale, and the line paid 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

“To lose the men,” the captain cried
“It grieves my heart full sore
But oh! to a hundred-barrel whale
It grieves me ten times more, brave boys
It grieves me ten times more”

“The wintery star doth now appear
So boys, we’ll anchor a-weigh
It’s time to leave this cold country
And homeward bear way, brave boys
And homeward bear away”

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
And the daylight’s seldom seen

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