They took us jolly sailor lads|
A-fishing for the whale
On the fourth day of August in 1864,
Bound for Greenland we set sail.
The lookout stood on the crosstrees high, |
With a spyglass in his hand
"There's a whale, there's a whale, there's a whalefish," he cried,
"And she blows at every span."
The captain stood on the quarterdeck |
And a sod of a man was he.
"Overhaul, overhaul, let your downy tackles fall,
And we'll launch them boats to sea."
We struck that whale and the line played out,|
But she gave a flurry with her tail
And a boat capsized, we lost seven of our men,
And we never caught that whale.
Well the losin' of seven fine seamen, |
It grieved the captain sore
But the losin' of the bloody sperm whale,
It grieved him ten times more.
Now Greenland is a horrid place |
Where our fisher lads have to go
Where the rose and the lily never bloom in spring,
No there's only ice and snow.