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The Humpback Whale

This song is by Nic Jones and appears on the album Penguin Eggs (1980).

Fifty-six I sailed on board
A ship called Byron One
She's carried trawler men on deck
And a harpoon whaling gun

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

A tractor for a whale winch
And the ship's an old Fairmile
Twin diesels turn the screws around
She'll whale in a fine old style

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

Keep a sharp look-out me lads
The whale he's on the run
And we'll drive him into Byron Bay
And we'll shoot him with our guns

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

The harpoon and the line fly through
Very deep into the whale
She split the timbers of the ship
With a flurry of her tail

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

The rigging struts are snapped in two
We reel beneath the blow
The gunner fires a killer shot
And that humpback sank below

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

Make her tail fast to the bows
We've got no time for bed
For four and twenty hours each day
We kept that factory fed

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

The flensing men upon the land
Some had been jackaroos
They skin the blubber from the whales
Like they're skinning kangaroos

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

A hundred whales and then fifty more
Through the factory we did send
And then the orders came - knock off me lads
Your season's at an end

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

Back into Ballina we steered
Tied up and stowed the gear
All hands headed for the pub
And we filled ourselves with beer

Oh you trawler men, come on
Forget your snapper and your prawn
For it's out of Ballina we'll sail
Fishing for the humpback whale

Written by:

Harry Robertson

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