Sunday, November 18, 2007

Song In My Head

`The term "Nantucket Sleighride" was coined by the whalers to explain what happened after they harpooned a whale. The first harpoon was not intended to kill the whale but only to attach it to the whale boat. Then the whale would take off... pulling the whale boat along on a "Nantucket Sleighride". The whale would tire itself out, then the leading officer in the boat would use a lance and stab the whale until dead.''

How the heck did it become a love song?

The song is dedicated to Owen Coffin.

Goodbye, little Robin-Marie
Don't try following me
Don't cry, little Robin-Marie'
Cause you know I'm coming home soon

My ships' leaving on a three-year tour
The next tide will take us from shore
Windlaced, gather in sail and spray
On a search for the mighty sperm whale

Fly your willow branches
Wrap your body round my soul
Lay down your reeds and drums on my soft sheets
There are years behind us reaching
To the place where hearts are beating
And I know you're the last true love
I'll ever meet

Starbuck's sharpening his harpoon
The black man's playing his tune
An old salt's sleeping his watch away
He'll be drunk again before noon

Three years sailing on bended knee
We found no whales in the sea
Don't cry, little Robin-Marie
'Cause we'll be in sight of land soon


dr sardonicus said...

I thought it was just a young whaler missing his girl. Never knew who Owen Coffin was until now.

barbinkc said...

Being a member of Greenpeace, I wouldn't give this song the time of day.

Ken Dillon said...'ve surely read my posts about how I LOVE whales. EVERYTHING about 'em!

I know it's just a song..but it's about killing a freakin' whale!!!!

Randy Raley said...

Hmmm. Interesting. I appreciate the posts. This has brought a new meaning to the song for me. Before, it was a cool Mountain song that I have been listening to since about 1971. I had no idea what the lyrics were about, I thought a "Nantucket Sleighride" was about winter in New England.
Silly Me. Still, my favorite Mountain song but now, knowing it's meaning, I must say it doesn't mean what it used to. Thanks for the posts, friends.

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