'Twas on the briny ocean
on a whale ship I did go.
I often thought of distant friends, I often thought of home.
Through dreary storms and tempests
and through some heavy gales,
Around Cape Horn we sped our way, to look out for sperm whales.
They'll rob you and they'll use you;
its worse than any slaves.
Before you go a-whaling, boys, you'd best be in your graves.
It's: “Do it now or, damn your eyes,
I'll flog you till you're blue.”
Oh boys, I couldn't tell it all, but every word is true.
The wind do blow and the great seas grow
and we strain upon the oars,
And your heart would bleed at the sperm whale's speed and it's: “Pull, you sons of whores!”
The weary chase is over
and the stars begin to glow,
And it's: “Light the flares, you lubberly lot, there's tryin' out to do!”
I swore I'd not go back again
once we was homeward bound,
For the pleasures are but few, my boys, on them bitter whaling grounds.