Whaler's Lamentation, The
DESCRIPTION: Each of five whaling companies has a verse headed by their ship names. The verses lament destruction of their pier by storm. The chorus says "Davis Straits adieu this season, Greenland for a year goodbye" but the final verse claims the ships will sail.
EARLIEST DATE: 1815 (GreigDuncan1)
KEYWORDS: sea commerce disaster storm nonballad whaler
Jan 12, 1815 - The Aberdeen North Pier used by whalers is damaged by storm (source: GregDuncan1)
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Greig #86, p. 2, "The Whalers' Lamentation" (1 text)
GreigDuncan1 12, "The Whaler's Lamentation" (1 text)
NOTES: Greig: "From Mr Walker, Aberdeen, I have got a copy of a whaling song which is dated 'Spring, 1815.' It looks like a libretto intended for dramatic rendering [but see the next note re 'The Storm']. The allusions in it had been understood at the time but to us they are just enigmas. It is interesting to note, however, that the four whalers referred to in 'The Diamond Ship,' given a week ago [Greig #85], are all mentioned here." The whaling season was not lost and the ships all sailed in February and March.
This song shares its opening line with broadside Bodleian Harding B 25(1842), "The Storm" ("Cease rude Boreus [sic] blustering railer list ye landsmen all to me"), D. Wrighton (Birmingham) , 1812-1830, by George Alexander Stevens; this probably is a parody. In 1808, at Sans Pareil Theatre, London, "Woolf sang the famous "Description of a Storm" by George Alexander Stevens, which became such a familiar favorite at the Adelphi in subsequent years" (source: "The London Stage 1800-1900," Joseph Donohue and James Ellis, General Editors, at Eastern Michigan University site).- BS
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