Blow Ye Winds (3)
They've advertised for whalermen, five hundred brave and true,
To fish for sperm on the whaling grounds of Chile and Peru.
cho: Singing blow ye winds in the morning and blow ye winds high, O
Clear away your running gear and blow ye winds high, O.
It's now we are at sea, my boys, the wind comes on to blow;
One half the watch is sick on deck, the other half below.
But as for the provisions, we don't get half enough;
A little bit of stinking beef and a little bag of duff.
Then there's the running rigging which you're supposed to know;
It's "Lay aloft, you son of a whore, or overboard you go!"
The cooper's at the vice bench a-making iron poles;
The mate's upon the mainhatch a-blasting all our souls.
The skipper's on the quarterdeck a-squinting at the sails
When up aloft the lookout sights a bloody school of whales;
"Now clear away them boats, my boys, and after him we'll travel;
But if you get too near his flukes he'll flip you to the devil."
Then our waist-boat got down and we made a good start.
"Lay on me now, you bleeders, for I'm hell for a long dart."
Then the harpoon struck and the whale sped away,
But whatever he done, boys, he gave us fair play.
Now we got him turned up and we towed him alongside,
And we over with our blubberhooks and rob him of his hide.
Now the bosun overside the lift-tackle do haul,
And the mate there in the mainchains so loudly he do bawl.
Next comes the stowing down, boys, to take both night find day
"You'll have a tanner apiece, boys, on the hundred and ninetieth lay."'
Now we're all bound into Tumbez, that blasted whaling port,
And if you run away, my boys, you surely will get caught.
Now we're bound for Talcahuana, all in our manly power,
Where the skipper can buy a whorehouse for half a barrel of flour.
When we get home, our ship fast, and we get through our sailing,
A winding glass around we'll pass, and to hell with blubber whaling.
from the Oxford Book of Sea Songs, Palmer