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The Greenland Whale

(Traditional: Arranged Brendan Nolan and Gerry O'Neill)

[Tempus Fugitive]

Key of G

I like whaling songs, particularly the ones where the whale wins. This is another song that I've gotten from different sources, most of which I can't remember. However, one of them included a songbook by the great ballad group, The Dubliners.

In eighteen hundred and forty-one
On June the 13th day
A whaling ship for anchor she weighed
And for Greenland she set sail, me boys
For Greenland she set sail

The lookout on the main mast he stood
With a spy-glass in his eye
"There's a whale, there's a whale, there's a whale-fish," he cried
"And she blows at every span, brave boys
She blows at every span"

The captain he stood on the quarter-deck
The ice was in his eye
"Overhaul, overhaul, let your jib-sheets fall
And go put your boats to sea, brave boys
Go put your boats to sea."

The boats were lowered, with the men aboard
The whale was full in view
Roll your oar, roll your oar, was each sailor man's cry
For to steer where whale-fishes blew, brave boys
To steer where the whale-fishes blew

The harpoon struck and the line gave out
With a bloody big swish of his tail
He capsized our boat and we lost five me
And we never caught that whale, brave boys
We never caught that whale

Oh the losing of those five jolly men
It grieved our Captain sore
But the losing of that sperm-whale fish
It grieved him ten times more, brave boys
Ir grieved him ten times more

Up anchor now our captain he cried
For the winter stars do appear
And it's time that we left this cold country
And for the homeland we did steer, brave boys
For the homeland we did steer

For Greenland is a barren land
A land that bears no green
Where the ice and the snow and the whale-fishes blow
And the daylight's seldom seen, brave boys
And the daylight's seldom seen