Oh the noble
fleet of whalers out sailing from Dundee,
by Scottish sailors to work them on the sea;
western ocean passage none with them can compare
not a ship could make the trip as the Balena I declare.
And the wind
is on her quarter and her engine working free,
not another whaler a-sailing from Dundee
Can beat the
aul' Balena and you needna try her on,
challenge all both large and small from Dundee to St. Johns.
happened on a Thursday, four days after we left Dundee,
off the quarter boats all in a raging sea,
away our bulwark, our stanchions and our rails,
And left the
whole concern, boys, a-floating in the gales.
new built Terra Nova, she's a model of no doubt,
Artic and the Aurora, you've heard so much about,
Jacklin's model mail-boat, the terror of the sea
beat the aul' Balena, boys, on the passage from Dundee.
carries canvas and fairly raises steam
Guy's a daring boy, goes ploughing through the stream,
says the Eskimo could beat the bloomin' lot,
But to beat
the aul' Balena, boys, they'd find it rather hot.
And now that
we have landed, boys, where the rum is mighty cheap,
success to Captain Burnett, lads, for gettin' us ower the deep,
And a health
to all our sweethearts, an' to our wives so fair,
ship could make that trip but the Balena I declare.
Footnote : The Balena sailed from Dundee
which, along with Aberdeen, Peterhead and Montrose, was an important
whaling port in the first half of the nineteenth century. Within fifty
years the industry was dead, killed by its own efficiency. But a number
of songs remind us of the hardships and dangers in the icy Greenland