Digital Tradition Mirror


[GIF Score]

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available


I will sing a little rhyme as I have a little time
About the meanest ship afloat in creation,
Her name it is the Mitchell from E town did sail (Edgartown)
And they fitted her out to go to Desolation.

Her officers are natives of old Cape Cod
The place where there is nothing to eat on,
But the product of their land is mackerel bones and sand
So they had to starve or go to Desolation.

On board of some ships they have plenty to eat
But it is here they put a stop on our ration;
It is work for nothing and find your own grub
And starve yourself to death on Desolation.

The meat on this ship once belonged to a horse
Or some of his damned near relation,
They put us on an allowance of a quarter of a pound
They could afford no more on desolation.

For fear the flour would not last for bread three times a day,
And mince pies to feed the after guard on,
They cut us short one half and says with a laugh
It's good enough for Jack on Desolation.

The captains of whalers are abolitionists
They go in for amalgamation;
A nigger or a Portuguese is treated like a man
But Americans are dogs on Desolation.

These cowards and villains, for they are such a race
They are a disgrace to all civilization.
Are our worthy friends who call themselves men
And command these prison hulks on Desolation.

For toward the end of the voyage they treat you mighty rough
They cause you trials and tribulations
For if you have any pay they would have you run away
And pocket all your earnings on Desolation.

From Gale Huntington's book- Songs the Whalemen Sang. Collected
 from logbook of Bark Ocean Rover, 1859.
No tune given: could be fit to The Campanero RG

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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