The Bark Gay Head

Melody - "Root Hog or Die"

Come all you young Americans
And listen to my ditty
It's all ahout a whaling bark
That left New Bedford City
The bark Gay Head it is her name
She's known both far and near
Her rules and regulations
They are most awful queer.
Cheer boys cheer
For the Gay Head and crew
For growling and soldiering
When there are things to do;
We never will, we never will,
We never can he high
We want three thousand barrels of oil,
Root hog or die.

2. The place this noble bark was built
Was Mattapoisett town
The workmen worked for a dollar a day
The boss was Jonathan Brown
She was launched upon July the tenth
At eight o'clock P.M.
And numerous crowds assembled round
To see them dump her down.

3. The Captain's name was Jenny
From Mattapoisett town
He walks upon the quarter-deck
And there you'll see him frown
He is the meanest captain
That ever you did see
He's crossed the Atlantic several times
From New Bedford to Africee.

4. We'll cheer my noble hearties
For the starboard boat and crew
Mr. Hazzard's their boat leader
He's a gentleman good and true
There's Hussy John and Taylor Dick
And a boatsteerer named Couch
And when they lower in their boat
They know what they're about.

5. And we will cheer my hearties
For the starboard boat and crew
For the blowing of their pulling
Which is something they can do
When they lower in their boat
They do the best they can
Ryder he's the biggest blower
And he's the smallest man.

6. We have the noble waist boat
Whose crew are very good
Their boatheader is a Dartmouth man
His name is Mister Wood.
And when they lower in their boat
They don't make any noise
But when you talk of pulling
They are the very boys.

7. We have another boat now
It's called the bow boat.
She's one of the jolliest crafts
That ever yet did float
Hiller pulls the bow oar
And Blankenship the stroke
Dexter pulls harpooner
And Jenny heads the boat.

From Songs the Whalemen Sang, Huntington

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