Yankee Whalermen
Yankee Whalermen
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Barry Taylor
These are American lyrics to a variant of the tuneSpanish Ladies. They were taken from Jeff Warner at a Philadelphia Folksong Society Shanties Workshop in January 1973.

There is no approximate age given for the tune. It is only listed as "famous old Naval song."

Other variants can be found at:

I originally put these words to the tune Spanish Ladies (they fit), but have it on good authority that they belong to the Canadian variant instead!

See below for related links.

Farewell and adieu to you Spanish ladies
Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain
For we've received orders to sail from New England
And we hope in a short time to see you again

We'll rant and we'll roar like true Yankee Whalermen
We'll rant and we'll roar on deck and below
Until we sight Gayhead off old Martha's Vineyard
And straight up the channel to New Bedford we'll go.

We hove our our ship to with the wind from the sou'west, boys.
We hove our our ship to deep soundings to take
'Twas 45 fathoms with light sandy bottom
We squared our main yard and up channel did make.


I went to a dance one night in Tombaz.
There were plenty of girls there as fine as you wish.
There was one pretty maiden a chewin' tobacco
Just like a young kitten a chewin' fresh fish.


Then the signal was sent for the grand ship to anchor
And all in the downs that night for to lie
Let go your shank painter, let go your cat stopper
Haul up your clew garnets, let tacks and sheets fly.


Related Links
Whaling Gear (Photos from Mystic Seaport)
South Sea Whale Fishery
(Painting by William John Huggins (1781-1845, British)
The Other End of A Whale
(Painting by Charles Sidney Raleigh 
(1830-1925, British-born American)
Concise Encarta Article on Whaling
Whaling History
History of Whaling
Kendall Whaling Museum
The Mother of All Maritime Links
One Hundred English Folksongs (For Medium Voice)
Edited by Cecil J. Sharp, Dover Publications, Inc., New York
1916, 1944, 1975
Additional Information and Lyrics from Digital Tradition