Greenland Whalefisheries

They took us jolly sailor lads

A-fishing for the whale

On the fourth day of August in 1864,

Bound for Greenland we set sail.


The lookout stood on the crosstrees high

With a spyglass in his hand

“There’s a whale, there’s a whale, there’s a whale fish,” he cried,

“And she blows at every span.”


The captain stood on the quarterdeck

And a sod of a man was he

“Overhaul, overhaul, let your davitackles fall

And we’ll launch them boats to sea.”


We struck that whale and the line played out

But she gave a florish with her tail

The boat capsized, we lost seven of our men

And we never caught that whale


Now the losin’ of seven fine seamen

Oh, it grieved the captain so

That the losin’ of the bloody sperm whale

Oh, it grieved him ten times more


Now Greenland is a horrid place

Where us  whaling lads have to go

Where the rose and the lillies never bloom in spring

Oh there’s only ice and snow


The winter star doth now appear

So boys we’ll anchor a-weigh

It’s time to leave this cold count’ry

Now let’s homeward sail away

Now let’s homeward sail away