the story is about a rock penguin
it's a small penguin not a king penguin
You can see thousands of them breeding
when the warm season starts
and they only lay one egg at a time
and if you take one away they lay another egg but no more
but i want to tell this story really about one incident one day
it was a gray misty day with the wind blowing hard
and there was a heavy swell running
and the whale factory was pitching and yawing
not really a very good day to pick up the whales over the stern of the factory ship
there were one or two dead whales at the stern of the vessel
and the whale cathcers where coming in with their whales
and in the distance you could see the icebergs
quite a number of them
and the men were trying to get ready to pull the whales over the stern of the vessel
there was a pack of killer whales around
which came tearing towards the factory ship
and they tore chunks out of the whales
there were a number of men at the stern of the veesssel with guns shooting at the killer whales
the minute they hit a killer whale the rest of the pack went after him and tore him to pieces
but lets get back to the story of the penguin
i'd say there were about 6 or 7 whales some of them blue some of them fin
at the stern of the vessel
and there was that small rock penguin sitting on top of the whale back
and as we were pulling up the whales one after another over the stern of the vessel
it was rather difficult with the heavy swell running
the penguin hopped from one whale to another
the killer whales were all around the dead whales
they were tearing into them and the sea was red with blood
and by that time there was a number of men from the whale factory coming astern and watching the penguin at the back of the whale
and the men where shooting as fast as they could to stop the killer whale from getting getting the penguin
which was sitting trying to hold on to the back of the whale
but as the whale was pulled up the chute
it was difficult for the winchman to regulate
and he had to watch very carefully not to
with the swell of the vessel
with the swell of the sea running and the vessel moving
to stop the penguin from slipping off its back
the chute was quite steep it was about i would say 30 degrees
and the little penguin climbed close to the tail of the whale
from which the whale was pulled up the chute
and the men were all standing around and watching and hoping that that penguin would finally get up get up on deck
it took a long time to heave that last whale up
if there was a swell the winchman up on top had to watch and be as careful as possible not to jerk and increase the movement
so that the little penguin could stay on top
we got him to the stern of the chute at the beginning of the chute
and we got the
we kept on
we kept on slowly pulling and as we pulled the little penguin
slowly but surely went along the back of the whale from the tail of from the tail to the middle of to the middle of the back
but at that time the sea was running heavy and the movement at the stern was rather erratic
finally when we got him up about 3/4 of the way
i dont think there was a man working on the stern of the factory
they were all watching and hoping too that the little penguin would get up on top
as the killer whales were just waiting down below and just watching
and the men were shooting and trying to kill these killer whales
they were afraid that the little penguin might slip in the water
finally when we got it really all the way up
everybody started to breathe a sigh of relief
but there was a heavy heavy swell which came under the factory
and rolled the whale on the side and the little penguin slipped off
and as it went down the chute the killer whales got it

most of the men were not happy that day
there were also ... there's millions of penguins
that was one of the sights which i did not care to see again
but thats the way in antarctic
theres no give and take
its a hard hard place to be in
c'est la vie

Lyrics submitted by TheOnlyCoolTim

Whaling Tale song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite tracks on the album, seriously. Poor little penguin.
    Xav-Rahmiron March 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is an incredible story. It's just an incredibly moving thing to hear it. The musical background has a part in it, sometimes it seems like that lone guitar is going with the cadence, meter, and melody of the words. But when the music kills and the story concludes... man, if you were listening the whole time, it just gets you. it's a hard, hard place to be in, and god damn are you ever there. I'm not sure if it's the way the man is telling it, or is it the music, or is it really both? I'd like to hear it without the music just to test the effect. The man certainly knows where to take dramatic pauses, that's for sure. And at the end you can tell he's almost crying for that penguin, when he starts having trouble putting the words together. Then he just resolves at the end. what can you do? it's the way of the world.
    Salty Kevinon August 31, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is my friends grandpa
    williaadon January 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'most of the men were not happy that day
    there were also ... there's millions of penguins'

    Millions of penguins, but they cared so much about one.

    I saw the guitarist eating pasta from a tupperware in an airport lounge.
    Manifest0on August 11, 2010   Link

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