"Greenland Whale Fisheries" as written by Jeremy Max Finer, Shane Patrick Lysaght Macgowan, Cait O'riordan, James Thirkhill Fearnley, Andrew David Ranken, Peter Spider Stacey and Dp,....
In eighteen hundred and forty-six
And of March the eighteenth day,
We hoisted our colors to the top of the mast
And for Greenland sailed away, brave boys,
And for Greenland sailed away.

The lookout in the crosstrees stood
With spyglass in his hand;
There's a whale, there's a whale,
And a 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 gibsheets fall,
And you'll put your boats to sea, brave boys
And you'll put your boats to sea.

Our harpoon struck and the line played out,
With a single flourish of his tail,
He capsized the boat and we lost five men,
And we did not catch the whale, brave boys,
And we did not catch the whale.

The losing of those five jolly men,
It grieved the captain sore,
But the losing of that fine whalefish
Now it grieved him ten times more, brave boys
Now it grieved him ten times more.

Oh Greenland is a barren land
A land that bares no green
Where there's ice and snow, and the whalefishes blow
And the daylight's seldom seen, brave boys
And the daylight's seldom seen.


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"Greenland Whale Fisheries" as written by Fred Hellerman

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Greenland Whale Fisheries song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentReads like a poem, which is a compliment. Like the band, although I need to hear this particular track on Youtube. Unfamiliar w/ it.
    TurnMeOnon November 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt first I just thought of this as a jaunty traditional song about a whaling ship's adventure that was made especially amusing because the whale is referred to archaically as a whalefish, but there are definitely sinister undertones here:

    The losing of those five jolly men,
    It grieved the captain sore,
    But the losing of that fine whalefish
    Now it grieved him ten times more

    It comments on how those in authority are often so ruthlessly obsessed with ego-boosting goals that they scarcely care if there are human casualties along the way to accomplishing them.
    epiwooshon April 29, 2014   Link

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