DESCRIPTION: "Full many a sailor points with pride to cruises o'er the ocean wide, But he is naught compared to me, For I have cruised the Bering Sea." He has seen Alaska and knows the Arctic; not even Columbus or Noah or Nelson could say the same.
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Emma Mayhew Whiting papers, Dukes County Historical Society)
KEYWORDS: whaler hardtimes sailor
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Huntington-TheGam-MoreSongsWhalemenSang, pp. 113-114, "Bering Sea" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Beulah Land (I) (tune)
NOTES [90 words]: The whalers went to the Bering Sea for the same reason they went to Greenland and Baffin Bay: That's where the whales were. The Bering fishery featured conditions much like those in the Canadian Arctic, but was even harder for sailors, because Greenland was at least relatively close to Britain and the settled parts of Canada. The Bering Sea was cold and dark and took much longer to reach, with no decent stopping points closer than Hawaii. So this song is probably right: whaling the Bering Sea was the very worst work for a sailor. - RBW
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