Captain do you remember the day when we first set assail?
You nailed that gold doubloon upon the mast
And you said that's for the man who first sights the great white whale
You said I've chased that beast over 7 seas and more
and up and down the tides of my life
and until I've got his head I'll never set afoot ashore

my heart soared as he stood on the prow
and said all men are equal 'neath my sail
we're all good men and free and rich men we'll all be
when we come back to that junket with the head of that whale
and we've given up all the comforts of shore
and spurn them wherever we may roam
until we prevail over that accursed whale
as long as I've a ship you'll always have a home

And port after port and cruise after cruise
the years swept like wings over our backs
we're all good men and free and as rich as we could be
when the wind sang in our ears and the sun shone at our backs
and though we often talked of all the things we'd given up
they were treasures we were glad to leave behind
and though we chased that whale without seeing even its tail
the thought of giving up never once crossed our minds

but captain I have a confession
one night as I stared out unto the sea
I saw a flash of plunging white that reached over the waves
and I never doubted once what it could be
so I ran at once to your cabin door
but stopped with my hand upon the bell
when I thought of what awaited us ashore

I hung my head in shame as I climbed back up the mast
tears from crying and rage had took my voice
we were all good men and free all except for me
and for 40 days and nights I never made another noise
'til I was woken up by my conscious and run
and told my bunkmate everything I'd done
but he only laughed and he clapped me on the back
and said every man who thinks he's seen the whale has held he tounge
he said it's all the same to the captain anyway
as long as he never knows how close we came
we were all good men and free and we freely chose the sea
over and landman's quiet life or a rich man's guilded grave
and from that day fourth when I walked past the doubloon
that I had once held as a symbol of my shame
I didn't spare a second thought for all the things I hadn't got
but bowed my head in thanks for all the things that I had gained

The captain said I too have a confession
and I want it to be heard before I die
I know you fought temptation that night outside my door
and I wondered whether you'd raise up the cry
I was glad to see that you resisted
and I was glad to see you think you deceived me
because the whale that we chase never exsisted
you are a good men and free


Lyrics submitted by Ghost Train

The Whale song meanings
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    General Comment...
    You’re all good men and free, and rich men we'll all be
    when we come back to that nantucket with the head of that whale
    and we've given up all the comforts of shore
    and pine for them wherever we may roam
    ...
    the years swept like winds over our backs
    ...
    'til I was broken down by my conscious and run
    Fitzburghon May 29, 2010   Link

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