Blow, Ye Winds
Lyrics from Songs of American Sailormen, by Joanna Colcord
'Tis advertised in
Boston, New York and Buffalo,
Five hundred brave Americans, a-whaling for
to go, singing
Blow, ye winds in the morning, And blow,
ye winds, high-i!
Clear away your running gear, And blow, ye
They send you to New Bedord, that famous
And give you to some land-sharks to board
and fit you out.
They send you to a boarding-house, there for
a time to dwell;
The thieves they there are thicker than the
other side of hell!
They tell you of the clipper-ships-a-going
in and out,
And say you'll take five hundred sperm
before you're six months out.
It's now we're out to sea, my boys, the wind
comes on to blow;
One half the watch is sick on deck, the
other half below.
But as for the provisions, we don't get half
A little piece of stinking beef and a blamed
small bag of duff.
Now comes that damned old compass, it will
grieve your heart full sore.
For theirs is two-and-thirty points and we
Next comes the running rigging, which you're
all supposed to know;
'Tis "Lay aloft, you son-of-a-gun, or
overboard you go!"
The cooper's at the vise-bench, a-making
And the mate's upon the main hatch a-cursing
all our souls.
The Skipper's on the quarter-deck
a-squinting at the sails,
When up aloft the lookout sights a school of
"Now clear away the boats, my boys, and
after him we'll travel,
But if you get too near his fluke, he'll
kick you to the devil!"
Now we have got him turned up, we tow him
We over with our blubber-hooks and rob him
of his hide.
Now the boat-steerer overside the tackle
The Skipper's in the main-chains, so loudly
he does bawl!
Next comes the stowing down, my boys; 'twill
take both night and day,
And you'll all have fifty cents apiece on
the hundred and ninetieth lay.
Now we are bound into Tonbas, that blasted
And if you run away, my boys, you surely
will get caught.
Now we are bound into Tuckoona, full more in
Where the skippers can buy the Consul up for
half a barrel of flour!
But now that our old ship is full and we
don't give a damn,
We'll bend on all our stu'nsails and sail
for Yankee land.
When we get home, our ship made fast, and we
get through our sailing,
A winding glass around we'll pass and damn
this blubber whaling!
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