eighteenhundred and forty four
on March the eighteenth day,
We hoisted our colours to the top of the mast
and went to Greenland for a whale, brave boys
went to Greenland for a whale.
The look-out tip in the mainmast be stood
with a spy-glass in his hand:
"There's a whale, there's a whale, there's a whale-fish, he cried
and she blows by every span, brave boys
and she blows by every span".
The Captain be stood on the quarter-deck,
the ice it was in his eyes:
"overhaul, overhaul, and get to your falls
and go get your boats to ,sea brave boys
and go get your boats to sea".
The boats were lowered and the men aboard,
the whale it was full in view.
Resound, resound, each whaler-man be
for to deal with the whale fish blue, brave boys,
for to deal with the whale fish blue.
The harpoon struck and the line paid out,
with a single spanner of the tail
he capsized our boat and we lost five men
and we didna catch the whale, brave boys,
and we didna catch the whale.
The losing of those five jolly men,
sure it grieved our Captain sore,
but the losing of that giant whale-fish
sure it grieved him ten times more, brave boys
sure it grieved him ten times more.
"Up anchors now," the captain be cried,
"before the winter starts to appear,
for it's time we left this cold country,
and for England we will steer, brave boys,
and for England we will steer.
For Greenland is a barren land
a land that bears no green,
where the ice and the snow and the whale-fish blows,
and the sunlight seldom seen, brave boys
and the sunlight seldom seen.