For Greenland We Are Bound

On Autumn Harvest AH 002
Old Songs & Bothy Ballads - Here's a Health to the Company

Jock Duncan sings:

Northeast Scotland is home to a number of songs of whale-fishing and this was one of the best known with 16 versions in the Greig-Duncan collection (GD 1:10). During the early half of the 1800s the ports of Peterhead and Dundee were leading points of departure ‘for to pursue the whale.’ The whaler’s life was full of adventure and when the crew returned ‘full ship’ there was cause for celebrations that ‘made the taverns roar’.

1:Oh for Greenland we are bound,
To leave oor homes behind,
With timbers firm and hearts so warm,
Oh we sail before the wind, the wind,
We sail before the wind.

2: A blowing breeze came from the south,
Oor sails all seemed asleep,
Oh three cheers more, we clear the shore,
We float upon the deep, the deep,
We float upon the deep.

3: We leave our sweethearts and our wives,
All weeping on the pier,
"Cheer up my dears we'll soon return,
Oh it's only half a year, a year,
It's only half a year."

4: With tarry dress we'll reach Stromness,
And there we'll go ashore,
With water,s less and landsmen scarce,
It's there we'll take on more, on more,
It's there we'll take on more.

5: When at last we reach the ice,
It's there we'll crowd all sail,
With boats we'll man with a very strong band,
For to persue that whale, that whale,
For to persue that whale.

6: Now dark and dreary grows the nights,
The stars begin to burn,
Oor valiant crew with hearts so true,
Full ship we do return, return,
Full ship we do return.

7: And when we're past the Orkney Isles,
The pilot boat draws near,
We see our sweethearts and our wives,
All waiting on the pier, the pier,
All waiting on the pier.

8: And when our ship is safely moored,
It's there we get ashore,
With plenty of brass and bonnie lass,
We'll mak yon tavrens roar, roar, roar,
We'll make yon tavrens roar.

9: We'll drink a toast to Greenland's frost,
And them we love sae dear,
But back again too it again,
We'll take a trip next year, next year,
We'll take a trip next year

c p 2005 Autumn Harvest AH002