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Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers

DigiTrad:
BALLINA WHALERS
BALLINA WHALERS
QUEENSLAND WHALERS
QUEENSLAND WHALERS
THE BALAENA
THE BALAENA


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Balaena The Dundee whaler (11)
Lyr Req: Queensland Whalers (Harry Robertson) (20)
Lyr Req: The Old Polina (29)
Lyr Req: The Blina / The Balaena (3) (closed)
Lyr Req/Add: The Balaena / Balena / Ballina (14)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Ballina Whalers [Harry Robertson]


Bob Bolton 24 Aug 00 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Airto 24 Aug 00 - 11:14 AM
Bob Bolton 24 Aug 00 - 11:48 PM
MMario 25 Aug 00 - 12:09 AM
harpgirl 25 Aug 00 - 12:14 AM
Bob Bolton 25 Aug 00 - 03:04 AM
harpgirl 25 Aug 00 - 01:38 PM
Billy the Bus 08 Aug 03 - 03:35 AM
Sandra in Sydney 08 Aug 03 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Jerry 08 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM
akenaton 08 Aug 03 - 05:54 PM
Billy the Bus 08 Aug 03 - 08:17 PM
Billy the Bus 09 Aug 03 - 12:54 AM
Billy the Bus 09 Aug 03 - 07:37 AM
Bob Bolton 09 Aug 03 - 08:33 AM
Les from Hull 09 Aug 03 - 09:22 AM
Billy the Bus 09 Aug 03 - 11:32 AM
Les from Hull 10 Aug 03 - 07:29 AM
Billy the Bus 10 Aug 03 - 09:21 AM
Les from Hull 10 Aug 03 - 10:14 AM
Billy the Bus 10 Aug 03 - 10:32 AM
Billy the Bus 07 Sep 03 - 12:08 AM
Hrothgar 07 Sep 03 - 12:56 AM
Billy the Bus 07 Sep 03 - 01:24 AM
Bob Bolton 07 Sep 03 - 10:22 AM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Sep 03 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,dBranno 10 Sep 03 - 02:54 AM
Bob Bolton 10 Sep 03 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,dBranno 11 Sep 03 - 03:43 AM
Bob Bolton 11 Sep 03 - 10:22 AM
Les from Hull 11 Sep 03 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,lynn_ron @bigpond.com 22 Jun 04 - 03:52 AM
Fergie 22 Jun 04 - 09:03 AM
Bob Bolton 23 Jun 04 - 12:57 AM
InOBU 15 Jan 09 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Vicky Brown 13 Apr 09 - 12:43 PM
Ferrara 13 Apr 09 - 01:51 PM
Thompson 13 Apr 09 - 02:50 PM
Ross Campbell 13 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 09 - 09:34 PM
GUEST 27 Apr 18 - 09:48 AM
John Moulden 28 Apr 18 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Greg F. 28 Apr 18 - 06:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 18 - 10:10 PM
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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: BALLINA WHALERS (Harry Robertson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 09:35 AM

G'day all,

This was requested by Arthur Marshall on another (relatively unconnected) thread and I promised to post the words and music. I can't see this on the DigiTrad under its correct name – or as Penguin Eggs or The Humpbacked Whale, names under which is turns up in England. We seem to have discussed this song and Harry Robertson, the author/singer, in another thread back around November 1999 (look for "Humpbacked Whale) but this is Harry's words and his beautiful (and very Scottish) Myxolydian tune.

Regards,

Bob Bolton

BALLINA WHALERS
Words and music by Harry Robertson

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.
Refrain:
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,
Refrain:
Heigh ho ye trawler men come on...

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.
Heigh ho ye trawler men come on...

The flensing men upon the land - some had been jackaroos,
But they skinned the blubber off them whales - like they'd skinned the kangaroos.
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.
Heigh ho ye trawler men come on...

Back into Ballina we sailed - tied up and stowed the gear,
Then all hands headed for the pub, and we filled ourselves with beer.
Heigh ho ye trawler men come on...
^^
Australian Tradition, VFMC, May 1970, p2

and here is Harry's tune:

ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:2/4
Q:1/4=100
K:C
B,8|E2E2^G,2^G,2|^G,2A,2B,3^G|A2^G2^F2E2|
^F2B,4B,2|E2E2^F2^F2|^G2^G2A4|-A6^G^F|E2^D2B,2^G,2|
B,6B,2|E2E2^G,2^G,2|^G,2A,2B,3^G|A2^G2^F2E2|
^F2B,4B,2|E2E2^F2^F2|^G2^G2A4|-A6^G^F|E2^D2B,2^G,2|
B,6^G2|A3^G^F2E2|^F2B,2B,2B,^C|D2D2^C2B,A,|
^G,2A,2B,3B,|E2E2^F2^F2|^G2^G2A2^G^F|E2^D2B,3^C|
D2^C2B,4|-B,3||


Click to play

To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: GUEST,Airto
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 11:14 AM

Bob Manchester,

Thanks very much for posting the above lyrics and tune.

Arthur O'Malley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 11:48 PM

G'day Arthur,

Sorry about that, I posted from my home machine which has some hidden time file that I have not been able to locate and disable - so it drops out if I have not posted anything in 5 minutes ... slightly longer than my short term memory. I meant to dive back and check the name, but some other problem was slowing down my poor excuse for an ISP and I pressed submit.

As I said some time back:

The moving types and, unthinking, strikes 'submit'
And not all my profanity - less wit -
Can lure it back or cancel that wrong word
Oh ***t!

Anyway, enjoy Harry's Song - I do and I might submit a few more of his. They deserve to be heard in Harry's original words and sung to his fine tunes. (Possibly stopping short of trying to match his accent.)

Regard(les)s,

Bob ... ? ... er, Haslingden ...?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: MMario
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 12:09 AM

Bob - you may have already checked this - but try turning off power saving features.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 12:14 AM

Pop quiz: Is this tempo reflective of a type of shanty? Why or why not?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 03:04 AM

G'day Whalers,

harpgirl: There is no specific reason for this to be a shanty - meaning that nobody in an ex-WWII Fairmile needs to work a captsan or haul sails - but that does not mean that the singer (or Harry, who wrote it) is not influenced by a vast body of past songs - many of them shanties.

Of course, if you just mean the speed that the MIDI converted back from my MIDIText file plays at ... well there have been enough queries about speed to make me wonder whether the output at your end really reflects the tempo I picked in the first place. (Query currently raised with Alan of Oz - maybe there is a factor arising from the different frequency of power supply ... or ???)

MMario: I have been chasing things inside the browser spec - maybe it something external like the power-saving app ... you do have to distrust something that Microsoft wrote and called HAL!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 01:38 PM

Bob, I wondered if the 100 tempo was a typical tempo for a certain type of shanty. Today I realized I had heard this song many times on a tape I got from a Memphis friend. I think it was (N)Mick Hanley singing it???? and that it seemed to be done much more slowly. There must be something I don't understand about these conversions in ABC and most likely much I do not understand about tempo but without the knowledge it is hard to ask the right question.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 03:35 AM

Refresh ----- Related Humpback Whaling Thread

The Song
When I found the DT Lyrics, yesterday, I was totally intrigued, as it described a similar NZ operation, Perano Whaling Station which I knew in the late 1950s, and Gavin Maxwell's book, Harpoon at a Venture, of the same vintage. I knew Bob Bolton's erudition would be involved, so started my search for background here on Mudcat. All I can say is Whewww... I'd like to share a few of my findings.

Harry Robertson - What a guy! It must've been a privilege knowing him Bob. His 1972 recording Whale Chasing Men is available from ScreenSound Australia (their national film/sound archive. I may even give in and get a "plastic fantastic" so I can get the CD (and others you guys are pointing me to).
YE GODS - go to the SoundScreen Search Page and type in 'whaling' - what a resource! There's even a 1959 home movie of "Whaling at Byron Bay" listed. Don't know if you can get a video of it - check it out Bob, "It's no use to me / Don't have TV" (Song Topic?).

Ballina - Yhe town's been involved with whaling for yonks. Bob, any idea if the name comes from Balleen = [14th century. Via Old French balaine, from Latin balaena "whale", from Greek phalaina]? Balin/Ballina keeps popping up in old whaling literature referring to 'balleen' (eg Right) whales rather than 'toothed' (eg Sperm) whales.

Byron Bay - "The whaling industry in Byron Bay had a short life. In July 1954, the first whale was taken for Mr Anderson's Byron Bay Whaling Co. The whaling station was built next to his meat works, handy to the railway line. His quota was for 120 humpback whales. This was increased to 150 in 1959, but the yield was lower than at first, and it continued to decline. By 1962 another of the Bay's industries had gone." - from Byron Bay History

Fairmile - That word takes me back to schooldays and 'Sea Cadets' in the 50s - I did my "sea time" in Wellington Harbour on one. Considering how widespread variants of this British ML/MTB were during WWII, and the varied uses they were put to post-war, I had a hell of a job tracking down decent pictures. UK Coastal Defence Heritage have the best descriptions, with another on RAN Navy News. I also found photos of excellent large scale model Fairmiles.

I'd love to see pictures of how they cobbled up the "tractor as a whalewinch", I've seen a few 'creative' crayfishing and paua (abalone) diving adaptations of ex-RNZN Fiheries Protection Fairmile MLs, there was one based here on Stewart Island for a while.

My last trips on a Navy MLs where to White Isand, an active volcano in the Bay of Plenty. Once we were past the 10 mile limit, Navy OP Rum was anly ten bob a bottle - we drank heaps. Those were the luxury trips. more adventurous ones were in an open 20' dory. Those were the days, back in the 60s now they fly tourists in by bloody helicopter

Enough for now - my Aussie mate "Compo" has just walked in the door. He's the proud owner of a lathe with a 30' bed, that was originally here on the Island at the Rosshavet Whaling Co workshops. Must show him the South Georgia websites I found - you lot can wait.

Slainté - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 09:57 AM

Billy - you always post such interesting stuff.

Screensound launched the CD 2 years ago at the National Folk Festival & Harry's widow Rita attended. I asked her the sign the CD along with the worthies involved in the production, and she turned to the song Whaling Wife which told her story.

His papers are in the National Library - last I heard they were still being catalogued - check out www.nla.gov.au

"Compo" is a very interesting name - sounds like it comes from the good old days when appropriate nicknames were the rule.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM

I've sung this song for years, using Nick Jones' version from Penguin Eggs. When I heard Harry's version I was not moved to switch -- I prefer the looser feel Jones gives it. Can't even pretend to touch Jones' guitar work, so I deliver it a capella.

But Harry Robertson's "Whale Chasing Men" is a treasure: a collection of songs documenting a nearly dead (thank goodness) industry. Some day scholars will write theses about it, I've no doubt.

It's a shame that Nick Jones stiffed Harry on royalties for the two songs he recorded on "Penguin Eggs" (an award-winning album). If Harry'd ever gotten his hands on Nick he would've made the effects of Jones' accident look like a spa treatment.

I'm glad to hear that a CD of "Whale Chasing Men" is out; Andrew Robertson, Harry's son, talked about it some years ago. This collection deserves a much wider audience than it's had.

By the way, if you want to understand the milieu of the South Atlantic whaling songs Harry wrote (Wee Pot Stove, Antarctic Fleet, Blubber Laddies, etc.) read "Of Whales and Men" by R.B.Robertson (no relation), published in 1954 by Alfred A. Knopf.

Be well,

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: akenaton
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 05:54 PM

I remember the McCalmans singing a song about a ship called the Ballina .I take it the ship was named after the town...Any body know the history of the McCalmans song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 08:17 PM

Hi Sandra - nicknames are still all the go here on Stewart Island. "Compo" is an engineer by trade, his massive lathe is still in Bluff, waiting for him to build a big enough shed here to house it in. He's heading over to Sydney in a few weeks, so I'll see if he can pick up the CD for me.

Hi Akenaton - Since the McCalmans are a Scots group, I imagine the Ballina in their song was named after one of the Ballina's in Ireland. I've come across that whaleship name several times. Try the McCalamans Website they have lyrics for many of their songs. If you can't find it there, their is an e-mail address, so you could try them direct.

Must off to work - Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 12:54 AM

Fairmile - Addenda...

I'm not sure what speed WWII Fairmiles did, certainly faster than our 1960s NZ Navy HDMLs. They were re-under-powered post-war, as an economy measure, and sped along at around 12 knots - fast enough to catch errant fishing boats of the time. From memory the originals did something like twice the speed.

Anyway, I was intrigued to find just how early powered vessels were used for shore whaling in NZ, and the speeds they reached. I guess the Australian situation was somewhat similar.

In 1908 the first motorised launch, built in Wellington to the order of J.Goodall, had one of the latest muzzle loaded harpoon guns mounted on the bow. Pursuit of the whales was now faster and easier. Motor launches used for shore whaling began to reach speeds of 16knots by the year 1917; they could easily catch the whales and overhaul them, if necessary, to turn them back towards the shoreline.
Jackson, at Kaikoura, went one better in 1920, when he purchased a craft of 45hp., capable of speeds up to 18-20 knots on flat water and was therefore able to speed ahead of his competitors to take the pick of the whales before they arrived on the scene.
- From an article on Early NZ Whaling by Anthony Flude

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 07:37 AM

South Georgia

I was chuffed to find out the Harry Robertson was on South Georgia With the Antarctic Fleet. I've been intrigued with whaling there since I found Grytviken Whaling Station, the first of ultimately seven shore bases, was established in 1904, by the Norwegian, Cpt C A Larsen, in 1904. Between 1923 and 1933 his Rosshavet Whaling Company of Sandefjord, Norway made nine expeditions to the Ross Sea in Antarctica from their "Whalers Base" in Paterson Inlet, here on Stewart Island.

If you don't know where South Georgia is, go to Expedia and type south Georgia in the "Place name" box. You'll have to select one of the first two options that come up to get there.

This thread got me checking out South Georgia websites for the first time in a couple of years, there's a heap more now. Most are Cruise Ship's that visit the Island, or trip reports of their passengers. However, there are a few "real bloke's" sites that cover whaling history. Here's a selection.

Subantarctic Islands - by Paul Carrol has good information on the history of the island.

Pesca is a review of the book of that title by Ian B Hart (Salcombe, Devon, UK: Aidan Ellis Publishing, 2001) 548 pp. £45. ISBN 0 85628 299 5. It's the history of C A Larsen's venture at Grytviken. It looks fantasic, but 45 quid is way outside my pocket. I'll have to see if our local library can interloan it.

Kaipipi Shipyard and the Ross Sea Whalers - Me old cobber Jim Watts descrition of his excellent book about Larsen's activities here on Stewart Island. There's quite a bit of info in the book about the old New Bedford whaleship Othello, which later worked in Autralian and New Zealand waters. When I the book, I found that the stranded steam trawler Phyllis, which I clambered over at Waikanai Beach, north of Wellington in 1953, was one of the Rosshavet fleet of Star whale chasers. I couldn't find the book for sale on-line. There's an e-mail address for Jim on this page - Just tell him "Sam from Stewart Island snet you".

South Georgia Pictures - Jim McLaren spent eleven years working on the Oil Mariner between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. He's got dozens of photos of the whaling stations when he was there in the 1980s. When they closed in the 60s, they literall walked out, leaving machinery, and even the books on the library shelves. It's a a fantasic site. I spent a couple of hours looking round. There's even some historic photos from around the time when Harry Robertson was there. It's the site to visit if you want backgound for With the Antarctic Fleet.

That's all for now. I can post more South Georgia links if anyone is interested.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 08:33 AM

G'day (again) Billy the Bus,

My posting of last night seems to have sunk in the deeps of the ether ... Anyway, I'll try again!

I would have though Ballina was just a homesick naming for the Irish town - but James Ainsworth, who settled in the region in 1846 said "the Aboriginal name of the locality was Bullenah relating to fish or oysters" Another visitor, in 1856, mentions "the mouth of the Richmond (River), or as it is termed by the natives, Ballena - so it is a native name, preserves - and probaby 'assimilated' to the familiar Irish town name.

The "tractor as a whalewinch" is depicted in the "real book" - the one that goes with the LP - and Kevin Butcher's drawing shows a tractor mounted to the deck via a metal frame pedestal. The hawser is shown on 4-sheafed pulleys that replace all 4 wheels ... but the layout of the rope doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps Butcher was working from a blurry snapshot - or sketch ... or imagination!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Les from Hull
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 09:22 AM

Billy - a Fairmile B ML (as used by the RAN and RNZN could manage about 20 knots from 2 600bhp Hall Scott petrol engines. The 70 foot HDMLs did about 11kts from 2 diesels (Gardner, Glenifer or Thornycroft) of about 300bhp each, so they'd never been that speedy.

Akenaton - I don't know if it's the same song but there is a well-known Scottish song celebrating Baleana, a steam whaler from Dundee, first fishing in 1892, and ceasing with the First World War. The name is pronounced differently with the the emphasis on the second syllable.

Les


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 11:32 AM

Bob - Thanks for the Ballina naming information. It's interesting that the Aboriganl name relates to fish. And again, thanks for starting this thread. I'm finding many interesting sites.

Les - Thanks for the Fairmile info Les. I guess the CPO who told us the HDMLs had been switched from petrol to diesel motors and speed were halved had his 'models' crossed. Your mention of Balaena got me on a search, as well as our own DT Lyrics, there's good bacground information in Henry's Songbook. But the two sites that got me excited are...

Glasgow Digital Library
Balaena 1892-3 Trip. It includes a map of her route, and a photo of the good ship herself. It's part of Scotland and the Antarctic. Lots of interesting reading there.

MIT Metamedia
Herman Melville - a page of whaling illustrations, sound files, including Balaena (unfortunately I can't hear 'em as my sound card isn't hooked up to the stereo at the moment) and MOV clips, which I assume are from films (I have to wait anther hour and a half for one to download at < 3kbs). Actually, the page takes a while to come through on my connection, so 'open in a new window'

Looks like another all-night session.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Les from Hull
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 07:29 AM

You've got me going now! The notes in the DT lyrics refer to two ships the Polynia and the Baleana. Indeed the Polynia (Captain Guy) did have an incident outward bound in 1891, when she lost a man and had ten others seriously injured in a huge sea in a WSW gale. Polynia was the 1861 auxiliary steam whaler of 472 tons (Dundee Whale and Seal Fishing Co) mentioned in the notes.

In 1862, Polynia (then captained by Captain Gravill) had been the first steam whaler to visit St John's Newfoundland when she had lost both blades of her screw in rescuing 24 men of the Newfoundland sealing fleet. While at St John's her boats rescued 60 men from vessels in distress (one in flames) outside the harbour.

Captain Gravill lost his life when the Hull whaler Diana was beset by ice in the winter of 1866-67. Gravill was an old man by then and did not survive the privations of that dreadful voyage. He is buried in Hull's Spring Bank Cemetery when 15,000 people attended the funeral. I can see the place where his body was landed from Diana from my living room window. Hull had been the major whaling port of the UK for many years, but the whaling was very much in decline in those latter days.

I think that the song may have referred to Polynia originally but was then transferred to Baleana as the incident celebrated was on Polynia's last whaling voyage.

Baleana fished the Antarctic in 1882-93 for the Southern Right Whale with very little success, her and her three companions having to make do with seals. One of these companions, the Active, got fast to a blue whale which towed her and three boats with six lines out for 14 hours till the lines broke when Active reversed her engine!

This information is from Basil Lubbock's 'The Arctic Whalers'

At least your experience with Fairmiles shows that you can't always believe what a CPO tells you! Many service personnel will swear blind that they're telling the truth, they were there etc. when all published facts point in a different direction.

One of the Fairmile B MLs sold out of service at the end of the War was used by the Humber Conservancy Board as the tender/yacht 'E P Hutchinson'. Up to the 1960s she was berthed in the same dock I mentioned earlier, Hull's Humber Dock, and she was very smartly turned out. The main difference to look at between the MLs and the HDMLs was the former had a 'funnel' (diesel exhaust).

Getting back to Harry's songs I've been singing 'Pot Stove' for years (from the Nic Jones version). I'm surprised about Jerry's comment about Nic 'stiffing' Harry for the royalties. I always thought that Nic was very careful in naming his sources. If anybody 'stiffed' Harry would it not be the record company? I don't think that artists have to collect the money for songwriters.

Les


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 09:21 AM

Les, your "Polynia" -> "Balaena" suggestion is supported on this site with a Polish Version of "Balaena" - fortunately the commemnts are in English. I'll try an on-line translation of the words sometime, just to see what happens.

Your mention of Basil Lubbock's The Arctic Whalers led me to The Whalers' Heritage Project. They're set up to help folk with whaling forebears, and have a list of ship/captain/homeport mentioned in Lubbock. I assume you have a copy? If so, I may get you to do some look-ups for me, if any of the Enderby vessels I'm interested appear there.

I've sung sealing/whaling songs, and followed up their backgrounds, since the 60s. You can imagine my reaction a couple of years back to discover one g-g-g'dad, James Hindsley Bromley, was seaman/butcher the Enderby Settlement, Port Ross, Auckland Islands $1649-52). My first excited phone call to a mate who was OC NZ Subantarctic Islands produced Enderby Settlement Diaries, two day by day accounts of the whole life of the Settlement. Totally fascinating. First thing I did was check who ha put it together. Among others, Chris Robertson, who I did my Fairmile trips to White Ialnnd with - we'd be there for a couple of weeks at a time, banding gannets. Also, one "Ferg" Allen, who wrote Wake of the Invercauld. We'd been corresponding by e-mail for years about general southern ocean Maritime History. Despite being a Canadian, she's had more access to 'proper' NZ archives than I have, and has been able to fill in more details on g-g-g'dad than are in the 'Diaries' or on the web (His later life as a publican in NZ).

He must've been a bit of a lad. One of the diarists describes a five week trip from Auckland Is to Dunedin to collect sheep for the settlement in 1650. They didn't have much luck with the sheep, but James picked up a 17 year old Scots lass, married her (in a pub, with her brother and the barmaid as witnesses) and carted her back to Port Ross. She had a son about four months before the Settlement wound up and they all left in 1852. They didn't just walk out, leaving everything behind, as they did in South Georgia a century later.

I mentioned Fairmiles and South Georgia, so I guess I'm slmost on-topic.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Les from Hull
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 10:14 AM

I'm sure that the Polish version is a straight translation of the words normally sung to Balaena. These ships were referred to as whalers but they were lucky to see a whale in those latter days - they were mostly employed sealing.

There's no mention of Enderby (person or vessel) in Lubbock's index. But it is the 'Arctic Whalers' and it only mentions the Antarctic and Pacific when 'Arctic' vessels try their luck there because there are no whales to be caught in the North. It is a great book, though, originally published in 1937 by Brown, Son and Ferguson of Glasgow (mine is a 1978 reprint). It's full of detail, information and anecdote.

We have a fine maritime museum here in Hull with an excellent whaling section, and one of the finest collections of scrimshaw in the world. If there's any information you need on the 'Greenland Trade' as Arctic whaling was known, or any pictures from our museum please let me know. I appreciate that it's a bit far to pop round for a visit!

Les


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 10:32 AM

Thanks, Lea - your offer's much appreciated. Must off to the pit for an early night - Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 12:08 AM

Refresh----
Fairmile again

I've just found the following photo of Whaling at Byron Bay on the Australian National Library site. The vessel looks like a Fairmile "B" to me, and I think I can make out the "tractor-winch" just forrard of the wheelhouse - I get the impression of a Caterpillar D2, rather than the beat-up Fordson I imagined. I'd appreciate comments from 'those in the know'.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Hrothgar
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 12:56 AM

I can tell you why they didn't have much luck collecting sheep in Dunedin in 1650. Typo?

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 01:24 AM

Yup Hrothgar, I meant to say 1550, when the sheep were woolly and I hadn't learned to drive a typewriter - standard QWERTY, not Dvörjak - VBG - Thanks for reading my posts in detail!

Pröst - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 10:22 AM

G'day Sam /BtB,

I have no first hand experience of these Fairmiles ... but the tractor rigged as a winch looks quite like the one in the drawing in Harry's song book. I suspect that the illustrations were done from simillar phots ... but I suspect some of the details .. maybe the photo provided to the artist didn't show much more than this one!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 10:28 AM

Whaling Note:

The Queensland Museum in Brisbane (Oz) has a large cast-iron whaling trypot in one of their exhibits.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: GUEST,dBranno
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 02:54 AM

Hi ho Bob,
You've named your version of Ballina whalers as being the one printed in Tradition, but it's not, my friend. What you've done, I'm sorry to say is perpertrate the (IMO) rather lame Alex Hood rendition that got onto Harry's record because he (Alex) did the deal with the publisher (Alberts) and had to have his name writ large, and most unfortunately was given Ballina Whalers to torture, because that's what he did. Bill Morgan tells me that he was lined up to sing the song originally, but "then them 'professional' bastards got involved and f...ed it up!"
I learned the tune from Tony Lavin in 1970, and got the words from that same Tradition mag., and always assumed the song to be as published there...three stanzas of three couplets , first two couplets to the A strain of the tune, third and chorus to the B strain, complete with those subtle variations in timing that are characteristic of Harry's style. The song then has some symmetry, unlike Alex' version where the sequence of the story line is distorted, and the tune squeezed into 3 chord bland land.
I went through all this with the Mathiesons in the run up to the screensound launch, and they trumped me by playing a tape of Harry singing the chorus after each couplet ("He wrote it as a shanty").

ALSO, I may have a bone to pick with you. In another post somewhere, you said you'd heard someone sing this song at a Kiama festival, and you were offhandedly disparaging about their rendition. If it was the first Kiama, then that singer was me. Graeme Dodsworth is the only other person I know who regularly sings the song, and his version wanders even more than Nic Jones', whereas I try very assiduously to be true to what I hear as the original, while allowing myself scope for expression. In fact I agonise sometimes over who does what to certain songs, Wee Pot Stove and Colin Dryden's Factory Lad to name but two.
One of my current personal projects is 'Of Whales and Men', title borrowed from 'the other Robertson', whose book I first read at age 13 or 14, an idiosyncratic compilation of songs verse and spoken word, traditional and contemporary, mostly from the southern hemisphere. Of that, more anon.
Sorry to be so long-winded here, but I feel very strongly about some things, and yet don't want to confront or argue the toss, when it's only a matter of taste or opinion, and nothing personal. I assume goodwill, unless told otherwise.
A story...while in the process of editing (hours of listening, basically) the Declan tapes, I managed to run off 17 items from Harry, sent a copy to Rita and kept one myself. As I say I get bothered sometimes by the crass liberties some take with Harry's songs, to the point where I can't listen to ANYONE sing Wee Pot Stove anymore ( apart from the man himsel') and I found myself, out on my constitutionals, 'walking' his songs, stepping them out, looking for the internal rythms, trying to get right inside...then one day, after a good hour sitting in meditation (the other side of the coin?)in that state very like 'twixt waking and asleep', I had a visitation from yer man. There for just a few moments before 'the confuser' kicked in, was Harry, looking about 35ish, big smile, in a dark blue short sleeved shirt, and he said " It's all perfectly logical. Just listen tae the words!" I told Rita this and she accepted it without demur, and gave me some stories in return, and when I told another friend, he said, 'of course, Harry was an engineer, one of the best, and he made his songs the way he made other things, the best he could.
Incidentally there are some good photos in the other Robbo's book, and Harry would have been there in the same season. The Morgan has a magazine (early 60's) with an article and photos of the Ballina Whalers...I'll try to get a copy of same.
At last year's National, at the Matho's Sunday concert, I recited the Lawson poem 'Robbie's Statue', a copy of which which Harry had on the inside cover of his workbook; this year, at the same time, I was having a solitary coffee, angry and sad, missing the strong wild bastards, Harry and Declan, and wishing for someone like the Morgan to put the boot in certain places..."If Harry Robbo were here today and saw the bloody farce........feckitall I'm going.
give me your email add and I'll send you what I think of the Ballina Whalers.             Branno


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 09:41 AM

G'day dBranno,

It wasn't the first Kiama (closer to the last one before the Kiama Council shot the festival down ... on the way to shooting themselves in the foot over their plans to build yet another tourist restaurant in place of the grandstand) - and it wasn't you. The version sung was pure Nic Jones ... and Evan was just by me and even more annoyed than I was.

In re the version I posted - I have several versions in my song file - and that one was marked as the Tradition version ... I'll have to check it and correct the description if wrong.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: GUEST,dBranno
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:43 AM

Hey Bob,
thanks for that! I made a Sibelius file for Ballina Whalers, as accurate a transcription as possible of what I do with the song, based on the Trad. version (even though 'hand written' it's much more lucid than the Albert's one, as is their version of Wee Pot Stove in the same issue, which gives at least an idea of the'eccentric' timing that Harry sometimes employed). Keep up the good work, eh?
regards, Branno


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 10:22 AM

G'day again dBranno,

Yes ... I have to keep telling people that 'dots' are only a mudmap - if you don't know the territory, they don't necessarily keep you from getting lost!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Les from Hull
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:48 PM

Looks like a Fairmile B to me too, although much modified. The Royal Australian Navy batch of Fairmile Bs was numbered 801 to 827 and built by Green Point Boatyard and Halvosen in Sydney and by Norman Wright in Brisbane. The Royal New Zealand Navy block was 400 to 411, built by Associated Boat Builders, Bailey, Shipbuilders Ltd, Voss Ltd in Auckland and by three yards in Calcutta.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: GUEST,lynn_ron @bigpond.com
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 03:52 AM

Hello Les
Happy to read your story. I am at present doing family research on Captain William Guy who lived in Forgan Fife. He died in 1919. I believe he was born in Ireland. Do you have any other information on him. Regards Lynn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Fergie
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 09:03 AM

Very interesting thread, I was of the belief that the Australian town of Ballina was named after the Irish Ballina, but as Bob has informed us it is a corruption of an Aboriginal word. Of some interest to me is that in Ireland we pronounce it Bal-in-ah, in Aus. it is generally pronounced Bol-eye-nah.
Fergus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 23 Jun 04 - 12:57 AM

G'day Fergus,

"Bol-eye-nah" ... ! I've never heard any Australian pronounce Ballina in any way that could be interpreted thus (... except ... just possibly ... by some New Zealanders - who believe all vowels are totally unstressed!)

The listing in The Macquarie Dictionary - the Australian standard for spelling, meaning and pronunciation - has a phonetic rendition I can't reproduce, as I can't specify phonetic script fonts, however, it has the first 'a' pronounced as the 'short a' in cat [phonetic symbol is an ~ æ diphthong] and the others as a schwa [phonetic symbol is an e, rotated 180º], such as the unstressed 'a' in ago ... roughly "Ball-uh-n-uh" ...

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for posting the photo... anyone who might find others of a Byron Bay Fairmile B whaler, do contact me. As some of you know, I build maritime models, and I am becoming closer to drawing up plans for the Byron 1 model. It is always good to have a good song to go along with a model, and a good model to go along with the song.
Cheers, thanks and G'day
Lorcan


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLUBBER LADDIES
From: GUEST,Vicky Brown
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 12:43 PM

had to transcribe this for a friend, hope it's of use for someone...

BLUBBER LADDIES Harry Robertson

Oh it's sailing oot o Scotland and it's heading south we go
To the cauld Antarctic oceans where the blue and finned whale blaw
And the first time is adventure, you're feeling kindo glad
That you're sailing on a factory ship tae be a blubber lad

Over rattling winches and the icy winds that sigh
"Blubber laddie keep it moving" you can hear the flensers cry

Aye there's men who flense the blubber and whas men who works the saws
For many skills are needed down among the ice and snaws
And the cooker men are clever getting oil frae steam and heat
But the lad who swings the blubber hook is a canny lad to me

Over rattling winches and the icy winds that sigh
"Blubber laddie keep it moving" you can hear the flensers cry

Watch them balance on the rollin' deck where heaps o blubber lie
As they drag the strips o the blubber to the man holes waiting aye
And their hooks are flashing quickly they dance like gimps(?!) o hell
On the bloody freezing deck that reeks o whaling factory smell

Over rattling winches and the icy winds that sigh
"Blubber laddie keep it moving" you can hear the flensers cry

When the seasons work is over and we're back on shore again
And you wonder why the city folk can tell you're whaling men
It's no secret to it shipmate when you see them stand and look
As the laddies walk along the street and swing their blubber hooks

Over rattling winches and the icy winds that sigh
"Blubber laddie keep it moving" you can hear the flensers cry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Ferrara
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 01:51 PM

Sorry - no time to read the whole thread today (taxes due Wed.) I apologize if someone has already said this, but want to say that I bought Whale Chasing Men from Dick & Susan at Camsco Music.

It's one of my very favorite CD's, too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 02:50 PM

I must be tired. First I read this title as 'Balling Whalers', then as 'Ballerina Whalers'. Enough culture shock already realising that this isn't Mayo but Oz.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM

Guest Vicky Brown - Blubber Laddies - verse 3, line 3 - that would be "imps o' Hell".

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 09:34 PM

And I was thinking this was a West Indies group.

Cheerily,
Clueless Charley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 09:48 AM

Geez...pretty gruesome lyrics! Who likes singing about slaughtering the hell out of an endangered and exploited species? Some of you I'm sure. Nothing personal....

...but one could argue it's like singing about poaching elephants and rhinos....or slaughtering Native Americans. Justified by saying, "...it reflects history".

Not trying to be a turd in the punchbowl, just saying my piece.

Great songs, but my tolerances have changed as I've gotten older....hard for me to celebrate such acts in song, or poetry for that matter.

Cheers-

Scott


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: John Moulden
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 06:07 PM

History happened. Attitudes change. Changing attitudes don't mean that we should attempt to erase history or not attempt to get under its skin. Songs like this help us understand the feelings of people, who were just like us, but lived in different times, different cultures and with different consciousness. Singing about these things doesn't mean we would condone them now, let alone glorify; however, nor are we in a position to condemn. On the other hand, I think that inhumanity among people, whenever it occurred is to be condemned without reserve. Further, now that we are conscious of the extent of animal's capacity to feel pain and fear, we should also condemn any present cruelties towards them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: GUEST,Greg F.
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 06:38 PM

Some folks should look up the definition of presentism.

Of course its presently OK in some circles to slaughter Muslims.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballina Whalers
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 18 - 10:10 PM

Times do change, passing one era over another is educational. The concept of "flensing" was utilitarian at one time, it is nothing but brutal today.


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