Old Polina, The

DESCRIPTION: "There's a noble fleet of whalers a-sailing from Dundee... There's not another whaler that sails the Arctic Sea Can beat the old Polina, you need not try, my sons." The singer describes all the various ships which failed to outrace the Polina
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1955 (Doyle)
KEYWORDS: ship whaler racing bragging
March 1884 - Loss of the Polynia (believed to be the model for this song) in the Straits of Belle Isle
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 165-166, "The Old 'Polina'" (1 text, tune referenced)
Fowke/MacMillan 15, "The Old 'Polina'" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle3, pp. 44-45, "Old Polina" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle4, pp. 36-37, "Old Polina" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle5, pp. 32-33, "Old Polina" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, pp. 22-23, "The Old Polina" (1 text, 1 tune)

ST FMB165 (Partial)
Roud #285
A.L. Lloyd, "The Balaena" (on Lloyd9)
cf. "A Noble Fleet of Sealers" (tune)
cf. "Save Our Swilers" (tune)
NOTES: GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador site claims the song was written in the 1880s.
The notes to A.L. Lloyd's Leviathan! for "The Balaena" makes this whaler R. Kinnes's Balaena, the "largest and fastest" of the 1873 Dundee whaling fleet. According to the Dundee City Council site, it "sailed its last voyage in 1892 under Captain Alexander Fairweather." That's a different explanation than the sinking of the Polynia proposed by the GEST site. - BS
It's worth noting that Lloyd's seems to be the only one calling the ship the Balena or anything similar. One suspects either an error of hearing as the song transferred to Britain or a Canadian adaption. The notes in Fowke/Mills/Blume also associate the song with the Polynia, lost in the Straits of Belle Isle in 1884. . - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: FMB165

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