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The Sandshark


The Sandshark

The sandshark feeds on the sailor bold
Till his throbbing heart grows poor and old
Or swallows him down while he's tender and young
And laps his blood with a greedy tongue

Not where the upland fountains play
Not where the timid minnows stay
But close by the surf of the mighty deep
In the gulf of hell does the sandshark sweep

By the devil's reef at noon and night
In the alley dark and the bar room bright
Quick as the victim comes to the lair
He is clutched by the gory monster there

What cares he for the sailor's cries
For the father's groans or the mother's sighs
He has sought that sailor from pole to pole
And the sandshark eats him body and soul

In the sandshark's haunts there is music heard
And the sparkling waves of the bowl are stirred
And the siren's lust and the gambler's spell
Are thick by the sandshark's road to hell

And seldom shall ever the victim pass
From the harlot's grip and the demon glass
For at home and abroad through every flood
The sandshark waits for the sailor's blood

Note: this is a strange song indeed, and I have not yet
found it in print. Ken Goldstein thinks that it may be an
English music hall song. Actually the sandshark is a
harmless beast, but the dangers on shore that faced the
poor sailor from shark-like humans were very real, GH
I've heard it sung as "The Land-Shark", RG
From Songs the Whalemen Sang, Huntington
No tune supplied; setting by RG