Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whaling In The Southern Ocean

D McFarlane

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When I was just a lad, there was money to be had
As a deckhand for a whaling company
So I signed aboard Cheynes II and I joined a hearty crew
And went whaling on the Southern Ocean

And a-whaling I will go, like my fathers long ago.
Captain Stubbs is our master gunner man.
From the Port of Albany, we will cross the briny sea,
And go whaling on the Southern Ocean

Well I could have had a job for a wage of forty bob,
Or been a farmer like my oid man,
But the sound of the sea has been calling out to me
To go whaling on the Southern Ocean

When the spotters report there's two bulls to the port
And the shout comes, "There she blows!"
Well our master's aim is true, and our crew knows what to do
And the cook is the only man below

Well the whaling year has passed, and the die has long been cast,
And the strangers gather 'round to see the show.
To see the harpoons rust, and the scoops all gather dust,
And the faded photographs of long ago.

A song about the last operational whaling station in Australia at Albany and the life of the crew and Captain Stubbs who was the last harpooner in Australian waters. Sent to me by Bob Eden of the "The Fo'c's'le Firkins" (Peter "Murf" Murphy, Alan Ralph, Terry "Tel" Reddy, Alistair "Digger" Wilson, Fred Carter and Bob Eden). Bob credits the song to D McFarlane. I'm unsure if this is Duncan McFarlane. Any guidance would be appreciated.

(The reference to the whaling year having "passed" suggests this is a modern song. The "strangers gathering around" could be a reference to the Albany Whaling Museum ("Whale World") which opened in 1980.)

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