I've sailed the North Atlantic, where ice blows in the breeze.
And roamed the Dutch West Indies in the calm blue sunny seas.
When I think of ships and seamen, my thoughts return again
To a season spent in Moreton Bay with Queensland whaling men.
cho: Sing ho, you Queensland whalers, who have cut the sugar cane,
And drove the herds of cattle o'er the dry and dusty plain.
You've dug the ore at Isa, laid countless miles of rail,
And now you come to Moreton Bay to catch the humpback whale.
For men who've chased the brumbies, caught bullocks by the tail
It really is no problem to catch a humpback whale.
Just spur your iron sea-horse, put the gun through rigging struts
And when he runs from the coral scrub, you belt him in the guts.
The man up in the crow's nest, as whaling legends go,
Looks out across the water and then cries, "Thar she blows,"
But here in sunny Queensland you'll sometimes hear them shout
"There goes a bloody beauty, mate, so get your finger out.'
From Moreton to Caloundra bronze whaler sharks abound
They wait like dingoes in the scrub for a wounded beast that's down.
But their taste for blood and savagery, it never could compare
With the bite that Inland Revenue took from our bonus share.
When fuel tanks were running low, we'd sail to Brisbane town
And at the nearest boozer our sorrows we would drown.
With beer and fiery whiskey, and plonk of vintage rare
We'd steer a steady zigzag course without a blasted care.
Hooray the season's over, and we can all return
To greet our wives and sweethearts and have a little fun.
We'll rant like cattle drovers, we'll roar like whaling men,
But when the season starts next year you'll find us back again.
Copyright Harry Robertson
Published in Australian Tradition 15/9; Reprinted in Songs of Australian
Working Life, Radic
Recorded by Harry Robertson, Whale Chasing Men, Larrikin; Eric Bogle &
John Munro, Plain and Simple, Grass Roots