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Penguin: The Whale Catchers

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THE WHALE CATCHERS


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The Whale-Catchers (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)


Reinhard 27 Feb 22 - 07:13 AM
GerryM 27 Feb 22 - 06:38 AM
GUEST 26 Feb 22 - 11:30 PM
GUEST 26 Feb 22 - 11:28 PM
Lighter 26 Feb 22 - 10:51 PM
Joe Offer 26 Feb 22 - 03:44 PM
Alan of Australia 02 Jul 00 - 09:37 AM
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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Whale Catchers
From: Reinhard
Date: 27 Feb 22 - 07:13 AM

The Penguin Book notes state: 'Imez' is written as the singer [Henry Hills] pronounced it, but we have not traced the whereabouts of this place.


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Whale Catchers
From: GerryM
Date: 27 Feb 22 - 06:38 AM

Where/what is Imez?


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Whale Catchers
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 22 - 11:30 PM

That was me - Tim Radford...on previous post..


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Whale Catchers
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 22 - 11:28 PM

I have had this song on my Computer desktop for the last two months and have been thinking about singing it.....Just haven't got around to it!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZMU-tDZOKY


The Whalecatchers
On the twenty-third of March, my boys,
We hoisted our topsail,
Crying, “Heaven above protect us
With a sweet and a pleasant gale.”
We never was downhearted, boys,
Nor let our courage fail,
But bore away unto Greenland
?? For to catch the Greenland whale. ??

And when that we come to Greenland
Where the bitter winds did blow,
We tacked about all in the north
All among the frost and snow.
Our finger-tips were frozen off
Likewise were our toe-nails,
As we crawled on the deck, my boys,
?? Looking out for Greenland whale. ??

And when that we come to Imez
Where the mountains flowed with snow,
We tacked about all in the north,
Till we heard the whalefish blow
And when we catch this whale, my boys,
Homeward we will steer.
We'll make those valleys ring, my boys,
All a-drinking of strong beer,
We'll make those lofty ale-houses
In London town to roar.
And when our money is all gone
To Greenland go for more,
Oh, to Greenland go for more.


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Subject: RE: Penguin: The Whale Catchers
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Feb 22 - 10:51 PM

A.L. Lloyd was the first to record this, singing this splendidly (with a slightly altered tune) on "Thar She Blows!," an LP of whaling songs recorded with Ewan MacColl in 1957 (Riverside RLP 12-635).


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Subject: Origins: The Whale Catchers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Feb 22 - 03:44 PM

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

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

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
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

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Subject: Penguin: The Whale Catchers
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 09:37 AM

G'day,
From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of The Whale-Catchers can be found here.

Sung by Henry Hills, Lodsworth, Sussex (W.P.M. 1906)

Previous song: The Trees They Grow So High.
Next song: When I Was A Little Boy.

Penguin Index provided by Joe Offer


Cheers,
Alan


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