There was a ship that put to sea,
the name of the ship was the “Billy o‘ Tea”,
The winds blew up, her bow dipped down,
Oh blow, my bully boys, blow.
Soon may the Wellerman come
to bring us sugar and tea and rum.
One day, when the tonguein’ is done,
we’ll take our leave and go.
She had not been two weeks from shore
when down on her a right whale bore.
The captain called all hands and swore
to take that whale in tow.
Before the boat had hit the water
the whale’s tail came up and caught her.
All hands to the side, harpooned and fought her
when she dived down below.
A line we dropped all in pursuit,
she raised her tail, a last salute.
But the harpoon lodged there’s no dispute
and she dived down below.
For six long days and six long nights
she drove us south with all her might,
Until we were too tired to fight,
and then we let her go.
The line was cut, the whale was freed;
the Captain’s mind was not on greed.
But he belonged to the sailor’s creed
so we let that whale go.