The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22879   Message #4137874
Posted By: Joe Offer
26-Feb-22 - 03:44 PM
Thread Name: Penguin: The Whale Catchers
Subject: Origins: The Whale Catchers
Martin Carthy did this in his concert Feb 26. Very interesting song. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Whale-Catchers, The


DESCRIPTION: Singer and his shipmates sail to Greenland after whales. He describes hardships of their lives, and looks forward to arrival back home, when they will make the alehouses of London roar. When they've spent all their money, they'll go back to Greenland.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1900
KEYWORDS: ship shore work whale whaler
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
VaughanWilliams/Lloyd-PenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs, p. 100, "The Whale Catchers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud #3291
RECORDINGS:
A.L. Lloyd, "The Twenty-third of March" (on Lloyd9)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy"
NOTES [44 words]: This song is distinct from "The Greenland Whale Fishery." It shares much of its final verse with a song called "Adieu, My Lovely Nancy" [indexed as "Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy"] collected from an Irish immigrant in Missouri and sung by the Copper family in Sussex. - PJS
Last updated in version 4.2
File: VWL100

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



THE WHALE CATCHERS (DT Lyrics - any corrections?)

On the twenty-third of March, my boys,
We hoisted our topsail,
Crying, "Heav'n above protect us
With a sweet and a pleasant gale."
We never was down-hearted
Nor let our courage fail
But bore away up to Greenland
For to catch the Greenland whale,
For to catch the Greenland whale.

And when we came to Greenland
Where the bitter winds did blow,
We tacked about all in the north
Among the frost and snow.
Our finger-tops were frozen off,
And likewise our toe-nails,
As we crawled on the deck, my boys,
Looking out for the Greenland whale
Looking out for the Greenland whale.

And when we came to Imez,
Where the mountains flowed with snow,
We tacked about all in the north
Till we heard a whalefish blow.
And when we catch this whale, brave boys,
Homeward we will steer.
We'll make the valleys ring, my boys,
A-drinking of strong beer.

We'll make those lofty alehouses
In London town to roar;
And when our money is all gone,
To Greenland go for more,
To Greenland go for more.

From the Penguin Book of English Folksongs, Williams and LLoyd
Recorded by John Faulkner on Kind Providence
Note: According to LLoyd, who should know, this is not a variant
of Greenland Whale Fishery.
@sailor @whaling @work
filename[ WHALCTCH
TUNE FILE: WHALCTCH
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