Watching A Whale Fall: Pre-recorded lyrics

Pre-recorded lyrics and lines: 

Scene 1: 

“The Farewell Shanty”

Shanty man: It is time to go now.
Haul away your anchor.
Haul away your anchor.
‘Tis our sailing time.

Get some sail upon her.
Haul away your halyards.
Haul away your halyards.
‘Tis our sailing time.

Get her on her course now.
Haul away your foresheets.
Haul away your foresheets.
‘Tis our sailing time.

Waves are breaking under.
Haul away down-channel.
Haul away down-channel.
On the evening tide.

When my time is over.
Haul away for Heaven.
Haul away for Heaven.
God be at my side.

 

Scene 4: 

“The Rhyme of the Chivalrous Shark”

Shanty man: The most chivalrous fish in the ocean,

To the ladies forbearing and mild,

Though his record be dark,

The man-eating shark

Will eat neither woman nor child.

 

 He dines upon seamen and skippers,

And tourists his hunger assuage

And a fresh cabin boy

Will inspire him with joy,

If he’s past the maturity age.

 

 A doctor, a lawyer, a preacher,

He’ll gobble one any fine day.

But the ladies, God bless ’em,

He’ll only address ’em

Politely and go on his way.

 

 I can readily cite you an instance

Where a lovely young lady of Bream;

Who was tender and sweet

And delicious to eat,

Fell into the bay with a scream.

 

She struggled and flounced in the water

And signalled in vain for her bark.

And she’d surely been drowned

If she hadn’t been found

By a chivalrous, man-eating shark.

 

 He bowed in a manner most polished,

Thus soothing her impulses wild.

“Don’t be frightened,” he said,

“I’ve been properly bred,

And will eat neither woman nor child.”

 

He proffered his fin and she took it,

Such gallantry none can dispute,

While the passengers cheered

As the vessel they neared,

And a broadside was fired in salute.

 

They soon stood alongside the vessel,

While a lifesaving dinghy was low’r’d.

With the pick of the crew

And her relatives few,

And the mate and the skipper aboard.

 

They hauled her aboard in a jiffy,

While the shark stood attention the while.

Then he raised on his flipper,

And ate up the skipper,

And went on his way with a smile.

 

Now this shows that the prince of the ocean,

To the ladies forbearing and mild,

Though his record be dark,

The man-eating shark

Will eat neither woman nor child.

 

Scene 5:

“All For Me Grog”

Shanty man: Well it’s all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog,
It’s all for me beer and tobacco.
For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin,
Far across the western ocean I must wander.

Where are me boots, me noggin’, noggin’ boots,
They’re all gone for beer and tobacco.
For the heels are all worn out and the toes are kicked about
And the soles are looking out for better weather.

Well it’s all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog,
It’s all for me beer and tobacco.
For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin,
Far across the western ocean I must wander.

Where is me shirt, me noggin’, noggin’ shirt,
It’s all gone for beer and tobacco,
For the collar is all worn, and the sleeves they are all torn,
And the tail is looking out for better weather.

Well it’s all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog,
It’s all for me beer and tobacco.
For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin,
Far across the western ocean I must wander.

I’m sick in the head and I haven’t been to bed,
Since first I came ashore from me slumber,
For I spent all me dough on the lassies don’t you know,
Far across the western ocean I must wander.

Well it’s all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog,
It’s all for me beer and tobacco.
For I spent all me tin on the lassies drinking gin,
Far across the western ocean I must wander.

 

Scene 9:

“Haul Away Joe”

When I was just a little lass or so me mammy told me,
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.
That if I didn’t kiss the boys me lips would grow a-moldy.
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.

Away (Ho!) haul away! we’ll haul away together!
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.
Away (Ho!) haul away! we’ll haul for better weather.
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.

I used to have an Irish girl, but she got fat and lazy
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.
But now I’ve got a Portsmouth girl, and she just drives me crazy
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.

Away (Ho!) haul away! we’ll haul away together!
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.
Away (Ho!) haul away! we’ll haul for better weather.
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.

You call yourself a second mate, you cannae tie a bowline,
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.
You can’t even stand up straight, when the packet’s a rollin’
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.

Away (Ho!) haul away! we’ll haul away together!
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.
Away (Ho!) haul away! we’ll haul for better weather.
Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe.

 

Scene 10:

“Leave Her, Johnny”

Shanty man: Oh, the wind was foul and the sea ran high

(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)

She shipped it green and none went by

(And it’s time for us to leave her)

 

(Leave her, Johnny, leave her

Oh, leave her, Johnny, leave her

For the voyage is long and the winds don’t blow

And it’s time for us to leave her)

 

I hate to sail on this rotten tub

(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)

No grog allowed and rotten grub

(And it’s time for us to leave her)

 

(Leave her, Johnny, leave her

Oh, leave her, Johnny, leave her

For the voyage is long and the winds don’t blow)

And it’s time for us to leave her

 

Scene 11:

An albatross chorus

Albatrosses: Over and over and over. 

 

Repeating. 

 

The tide. 

Rolling in, ebbing out. Rolling in, ebbing out. Rolling in, ebbing out. Slowly. 

Slowly.

Chewing away. 

Devouring islands. Swallowing up river banks. 

Patient.

 

Until there’s nothing left. 

Until there’s nowhere else to run. 

 

Just water and water and water and water. 

And when there’s just water there’s nothing to run from either. 

Why run? The water always wins. Why run? 

 

Rolling in, ebbing out. Rolling in ebbing out. Slowly. 

Slowly.

Chewing away. 

At you… 

Devouring…. Swallowing up. 

Patient.

 

Until there’s nothing left.

Until there’s nowhere else to run. 

 

And you’re gone. 

Just water and water and water and water and water and water and water and water.   

And when there’s just water… and when you’re gone and all that’s left is water and water and water and water. 

And it’s rubbed you away. Smooth like a stone. And you don’t remember. Why run? 

The water always wins. 

And I am driftwood. I am a smooth stone perfect for skimming. And when it’s finished chewing I will be nothing but water and water and water and water. 

Like my Father, and his Father and his Father and his…

 

Always…

 

And I’ll forget.

 

Back to the sea, always. 

 

Why it was important… 

I can’t remember why it was important.

Please. I can’t remember why it was so important. 

 

 

Smooth.

Calm waters. 

All that maters is calm waters. 

Smooth. Calm. When you can see two moons in the mirror of the sea. No land. Just water and water and water and water and water. 

Breathing…

 

Water….

 

The water always wind. Wins. Wins. The water always wins.   

 

Rolling in, ebbing out. Rolling in ebbing out. Slowly. 

Slowly.

Chewing away. 

Until there’s nothing left. 

 

Scene 16:

An albatross chorus

Albatrosses: If a whale falls into the abys and no one is around to see it fall… does it make a sound?

Would it matter if it did? 

If animals don’t feel.

Like we do.

If that’s what makes the separation. 

The distinction. 

Between them,

And us?

 

If a calf dies the mother whale will carry it. 

Willing it to live. 

And we can only guess that on the other side, the baby is just as distraught. 

She carries it, sometimes for days. 

And when she’s ready, she lets it fall. 

A whale fall.

Right from the sunny blue, 

Into the cold and inky black. 

Deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper until it’s deeper than we’ve ever been before. 

Until it’s fallen off the edge of the known. 

Unreachable.

Here be monsters. 

Monsters made real. 

A place where body becomes 

Food. 

In the crushing, black depths,

All alone,

It’s preserved. 

Too cold to decay. 

 

The body gets a second life. 

A second chance, 

To live again. 

 

Blind fishies pick the bones clean, 

Limpets cling on, 

Algae and bacteria. 

All given a chance

Protection

In the cathedral arc of the whale’s rib cage,

In between the beads of its vertebrae.

A new home. 

 

Nothing dies. 

Nothing 

Is

 Gone. 

Just more life. 

Just more life around every corner. 

Maybe not your life.

But it’s kind to share. 

 

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