Robert Palomo - New Old Sea Songs

The Wellerman - Audio, video, lyrics

Defying all probability, The Wellerman launched a sea shanty craze early in 2021. It's a catchy rollicking tune that will stick between your ears and plague you for weeks if you're not careful. I've conspired with my wretched shanty crew The Stormy Dan'ls to create yet another rendition of it. But it's not merely to catch the wave - I was here before that, and I'll be here after it subsides.

It seemed a good time to leverage the popularity of this old New Zealand whaling song to remind people that unregulated factory-scale commercial whaling nearly wiped out the great whales. Since 1986, all but 3 countries (Iceland, Japan, and Norway) have observed a moratorium on commercial whaling. Nonetheless, today all marine life, and the oceans themselves, face threats from multiple sources: climate change, plastic pollution, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, marine fish farming, mega-shipping, and petroleum drilling and transfer. 

Since 1977, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve the marine environment and defend the life it sustains. Their motto bears heeding: "If the oceans die, we die." 

If you enjoy this rendition of The Wellerman, please consider donating to Sea Shepherd at - or to the nature conservation organization of your choice.

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Song art image

There once was a whaler that put to sea,
And the name of that ship was the Belle Marie
Her sails did billow, and her bow rose high
Oh blow, me bully boys, blow!

Soon may the Wellerman come
to bring us sugar and tea and rum.
One day, when the tonguing' is done,
We'll take our leave and go

She'd not been out too long from shore
When a mighty whale from the deeps did roar
The captain came on deck and swore
He'd take that whale in tow


When the first boat had hardly hit the water
The whale's tail came up and caught her
All hands in the second harpooned and fought her
As she dived down below


They cut no line, no whale they freed,
The captain never gave in to greed
He stayed true to the Whalemen’s creed
As she took his ship in tow


For forty days and nights or more,
That line went slack then tight once more,
The boats were smashed, every one of four
Yet still that whale did go


Now to this day that fight’s not won
The line's not cut, and the whale's not gone  !
The Wellerman makes his regular call
To encourage the captain, crew and all!

{Chorus x2}

Performed and produced by Robert Palomo. Copyright ©2021 - All rights reserved.

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