Greenland Whale Fisheries

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Greenland Whale Fisheries

This version of the song was collected from the singing of Harry Cox of Norfolk.

In eighteen hundred and twenty-three
On March the thirteenth day,
we hoisted our colours to the top of the mast
And for Greenland bore away, brave boys
And for Greenland bore away.

The lookout in the crosstrees stood
With spyglass in his hand;
There's a whale, there's a whale
There's whalefish he cried
And she blows at every span, brave boys
She blows at every span

The captain stood on the quarter deck
The ice was in his eye
Overhaul, overhaul! Let your davit tackles fall
And get your boats to sea, brave boys
And get your boats to sea

Well the harpoon struck and the line ran down
The whale gave a flourish of her tail
She capsized our boat and we lost five men
And we never caught that whale, brave boys
And we never caught that whale.

On the losing of that sperm whale fish
It grieved our captain sore
But the losing of those five gallant men
Oh It grieved him ten times more, brave boys
Oh It grieves him ten times more

"Up anchor now" our captain cried
For the winter star do appear
It's time to leave this cold country
And for england we will steer brave boys
And for england we will steer

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
But the daylight's seldom seen