Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Sealers

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The Sealers

The Sealers

Come all ye good people, I pray lend an ear,
Who wish to go seal-fishing in the spring of the year;
There was two schoonere and two sloops in the Pool where we lay,
Being well-manned and rigged and would soon sail away,
         To me raddy for the diddle all the day.

`Bloody decks to her dashers!' the children did cry,             (1)
As the schooner, the "Tiger", was ready for Sea;
So we all bid adieu to our sweethearts and friends,
And I hope it won't be long till she'll be loaded to the bends.  (2)
        To me raddy for the diddle all the day.

             `Now they are going to start.'

Our course it being southeast for three days and three nights,
When the Captain cries out, `Look ahead for the ice!'
We hove her about, stood her in for the land,
And in less than three hours we were solid in the jam.           (3)
        To me raddy for the diddle all the day.

While the cook was getting breakfast every man took a dram,
With his bat upon his shoulder jumped out upon the pan;
(4,5)
With their bats upon their shoulders so merrily they go,
Every one showed his action without missing of a blow.
        To me raddy for the diddle all the day,

While some they were sculping and others hauling-to,             (6,7)
Every man showed his action without missing of a blow;
In the dusk of the evening when all came on board,
We counted nine hundred pelts in the hold.
        To me raddy for the diddle all the day.

So it's now we've got our cargo, and we're all safe and sound,
So it's now we've got our cargo, it's homeward we are bound;
With the wind about southeast, and the sky very clear,
We will never drop an anchor till we drop it right down there.
        To me raddy for the diddle all the day.

With the wind about southeast, and the air very cool,
We will never drop an anchor till we drop it in the Pool.        (8)
           To me raddy for th diddle all the day.

 (1) Dashers: meaning unknown to the singer
 (2) Bends: the waist, amidships.
 (3) Jam: ice-floe, packed ice.
 (4) Bat: club for killing the seal.
 (5) Pan: ice-pan, flat, unbroken ice.
 (6) Sculping: literally scalping, here skinning the seal.
 (7) Hauling-to: bringing the pelts aboard.
 (8) Pool: the dock. `You see  "dock" wouldn't make a good rhyme with
     "cool," so they said "pool" to make it come out right.' "Pool" is
     not uncommon for a closely landlocked harbor.

"The trip of the Seal Fishermen, from the time they left port till they
got  back. and never dropped their anchor," is the title conferred by
Captain John T. White, recently from Murray Harbor, Prince Edward
Island, now of Brewer, Maine, from whose singing it was twice taken
down, July, 1925, and again January, 1925, AJS

`A true trip, about sixty years ago.  I was very wee, wee then, and
it was new then, just happened.  I heard a man from Newfoundland
sing it, and the next morning I had it all right myself.... Yes, I
guess they went out from Newfoundland, it wasn't from The Island.
They had a fair wind out, northwest, and they got a fair wind back,
southeast. This must have been made up front the mate's log.  I've
been mate myself and kept the log, it's all so.  When they wanted
to get men to go sealing, they would sing this song.  Most likely
they made it up on board before they got back to the Pool.'

Minstrelsy of Maine;" 1927  AJS
DT #613
Laws D10
AJS
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