On the twenty third day of the month of June
In the year of '54
They signed us weary whaler men
To sail for Greenland's shore, brave boys,
To sail for Greenland's shore.
Our gallant ship her sails we set
For the icy Greenland ground.
Well, they said we'd take about a score or two a whale
Before we're six months bound, brave boys,
Before we're six months bound.
Oh, the lookout up in the crosstree stood
With a spyglass in his hand.
"There's a whale, there's a whale, there's a whale fish," he cried.
"She blows on every span, brave boys,
She blows on every span."
The captain stood on the quarterdeck
With his eye to the icy sea.
"Overhaul! Overhaul! Let your davit-tackles fall
"Put your boats on the water," cried he, brave boys,
"Put your boats on the water," cried he.
Well, the boats got down and the crews aboard
And the whale was in full view.
And the bosun roared, "Put your backs to the oars,
And steer where the whale fish blew, brave boys,
And steer where the whale fish blew."
"And steer where the whale fish blew."
Well, the harpoon struck and the line played out
And the whale gave a thunder with its tail.
And the boat capsized killing half a dozen men.
And we never did catch that whale, brave boys,
We never did catch that whale.
"To lose those men," the captain said,
"Well, it grieves my heart full sore."
But we knew the losing of that hundred barrel whale
Well, it grieved him ten times more, brave boys,
It grieved him ten times more.
Oh, Greenland is a dreadful place,
It's a place that's never green.
Where there's ice and snow, and the whale fishes blow.
And the daylight's seldom seen, brave boys,
The daylight's seldom seen.