folk / music / my songs / songs / songwriting

After the hunger strike . . .

. . . a new song

I’m recovered from my hunger strike and this morning woke with this new song in my head.

The Ballad of Moby Dick

Tune: The Spermwhale Fishery

You may call me Ishmael
I’m the hero of this song
And if you’ll pay attention
I’ll not detain you long, brave boys,
I’ll not detain you long.

Herman Melville was the man,
The teller of this tale
Of Ahab the master of the Peqod ship
And the hunting of the whale, brave boys,
And the hunting of the whale.

Nantuckett is a whaling town
With a harbour deep and wide
And many score of whaling ships
That sail on every tide, brave boys,
That sail on every tide.

Now the whale she is a mighty fish
She’s the monarch of the seas
She gives us whale-oil for our lamps
Whalebone for women’s stays, brave boys,
Whalebone for women’s stays.

Ahab was a one-legged man
Stamped the deck both early and late
But when we signed up to his articles
We signed up for his fate, brave boys,
We signed up for his fate.

For when you sign the articles
You sign them for your life
For good or ill, for the master’s will
No mutiny or strife, brave boys,
No mutiny or strife.

Now Queeqeg was a harponeer
And his blades both long and sharp
And if he cast them at any whale
He’d stab her to the heart, brave boys,
He’d stab her to the heart.

Cap’n Ahab had a silver doubloon
And he nailed it to the mast
Said whoever first sees the white whale blow
In his pocket it’ll be cast, brave boys,
In his pocket it’ll be cast.

Came lightning from a cloudless sky
It’s called St Elmo’s fire
Lit Ahab and all our small ship’s rig
An ill omen so dire, brave boys,
And ill omen so dire.

Now the lookout at the top of the mast
He called out: There she blows
And I will have that silver doubloon
Where she comes from no one knows, brave boys
Where she comes from no one knows.

And when we stuck that white whale deep
We thought the fight we’d win
But she turned to charge our whaleship’s side
And stove our midships in, brave boys
And stove our midships in

Now Ahab he was bold as brass
And he cried I’ll have you yet
And he jumped on to that white whale’s back
As she sank into the wet, brave boys
She sank into the wet

Now each of us follows our own white whale
From the cradle to the grave
We’re each ruled by our destiny
Till we sink beneath the wave, brave boys
Till we sink beneath the wave.

So now you’ve heard my whaling song
You can buy me a pint of ale
Here’s good health to every sailorman
And every great white whale, brave boys
And every great white whale.

Oct 15, 2015

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