Come All You Tonguers
Come all you tonguers and land-loving lubbers,
Here's a job cutting in and boiling down blubbers,
A job for the youngster or old and ailing.
The Agent will grab any man for shore whaling.
Go hang the Agent, the company too,
They are makin' a fortune off me and you.
No chance of a passage from out of this place,
And the price of livin's a bloomin' disgrace.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s men were recruited in
New South Wales for shore whaling in New Zealand, with
promises of housing, food, drink and all the Maori women
they could handle. In reality the accommodation was almost
uninhabitable, the Maori didn't want to know, and food and
other supplies were so expensive the men would up "owing
their souls to the company store". Shore whaling was messy,
smelly and disgusting, essentially processing whale carcasses
for meat and oil.