In '56 1 sailed on board a ship called Byron One,
She carried trawler men on deck and a harpoon whaling gun.
With a tractor as a whalewinch - the ship an old fairmile,
Twin diesels turned the props aroon - we whaled the Aussie style.
CHO: Heigh ho ye trawler men come on, forget the snapper and the prawn
It's out of Ballina we'll sail - a fishing for the humpback whale.
So keep a sharp lookout me lads - for the whale is on the run,
And we'll chase them into Byron Bay and kill them with our gun.
The harpoon and the line fly true - bedding deep into the whale,
And she split the timbers of the ship, with a flurry of her tail,
The rigging struts were snapped in two, we reeled beneath the blow,
Then the gunner fired a killer shot, and the humpback sank below.
Now make her tail fast to the bow - we've got no time for bed,
For four and twenty hours each day, we kept that factory fed.
The flensing men upon the land - some had been jackaroos,
But they skinned the blubber off them whales - like they'd skinned the
One hundred whales then fifty more - to the factory we did send,
Till a message said knock off me lads - the season's at an end.
Back into Ballina we sailed - tied up and stowed the gear,
Then all hands headed for the pub, and we filled ourselves with beer.
Australian Tradition, VFMC, May 1970, p2
copyright: Harry Robertson
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Ballina Whalers [Harry Robertson]