OK, whaling is bad, and Munguin doesn’t advocate it, but this song, once you get it in your head, just won’t quit.

Try not to think about the lyrics so much as the way these people have worked together, at a distance, to make a great sound and one which has gone viral over the last two weeks.

The guy in the centre, who started it all, is Nathan Evans, a postie from, I think, Airdrie, although as he’s just been signed for a record deal, he may have delivered his last letter.

52 thoughts on “EAR WORM”

  1. tris, I am sure you know this already, but Dundee was a whaling port.

    I always liked “The Bonnie Ship the Diamond” (even tried to learn the words).

    And “Shenandoah” always gets me in the tear ducts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, DonDon. There used to be a massive whale carcass in the museum at the Albert institute. I don’t remember if it is still there… The last time I was there was a while ago. In fact I was with Abu, his mum and dad and his sister.

      Happy days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I vaguely recall walking through a whale carcass when I was young; best guess is that I would’ve been six at the time. Apparently it was an “attraction” during the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s!

        Fifty+ years later and the most vivid memory is that it wiz honkin’! Hardly surprising, since reading about them a few years ago, I discovered they only used three over about twenty-five years!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I have a grandson in Canada who has been working on a project studying how much whales are disturbed by underwater noise such as ships engines.
          He was interested, though rather dismayed when I showed him from family records that my great grandfather from Peterhead was a whaler. He was even hunting the Right Whales, the same ones my grandson is now trying to help!
          Nearly 200 years between their births and both called James.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. There was a whale skeleton in the Edinburgh museum in the mid 1990s. It had been washed up or stranded somewhere in the shore of the Forth.
          As it was summer and quite warm the smell was terrible and the doors had to be kept open during the day.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. andimac, by an amazing youtube coincidence, I have just this minute discovered that Bob Dylan used the tune of “Farewell to Tarwathie” to write “Farewell Angelina”.
          Joan Baez recorded it in 1966.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. DonDon……I love “Shenandoah” too. The recurring lyric “across the wide Missouri” always gets me. The folk song with many different lyrics may have originated on the Missouri River.

      Wiki: “The song appears to have originated with American and Canadian voyageurs or fur traders traveling down the Missouri River in canoes, and has developed several different sets of lyrics. Some lyrics refer to the Oneida chief Shenandoah and a canoe-going trader who wants to marry his daughter. By the mid 1800s versions of the song had become a sea shanty heard or sung by sailors in various parts of the world.”


      Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t realise how big the business was.

      I note though that even back then they over killed:

      “When the Greenland seal fishing became unproductive due to over killing, Stephen sent his ships to the Newfoundland coast and achieved a lot of success there.”

      The stupidity of humans, mixed with greed, huh!


  2. Down the shore in Leith, (just opposite where Spook used to live) is an old harpoon gun embedded in the quay a few yards from the swing bridge.
    Evil thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A few years ago there was a programme on TV about whaling and two men from Dundee who sailed on a whaler because it was the only work they could get at the time, said they would never forget the screams of the whales when the harpoons hit. It had stayed with them for the rest of their lives. Lest we forget what we do to the creatures who share our planet. We really should hang our heads in shame.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. They were taken down & sent to a conservator Tati. The conservator subsequently went bust & the jawbones were in limbo for a long while.

        Conservation work has resumed & I do believe (but don’t quote me on it) they will be reinstated – eventually.

        Jawbone Walk still runs from the site of the arch to the N. end of Middle Meadow Walk.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. There are hundreds of Whales dying, off the coast of California right now, starving to death.
    A massive Whale, they think possibly the biggest ever recorded, was found on a beach recently can’t remember where. The cruelty and destruction of sealife by humans is unbearable imo. The beautiful creatures of the sea must suffer hugely before and during their murder. Humans have no right to kill these creatures, and to think that ‘Whaling’ is still practiced in some countries is absolutely abhorrent. Sharks,whales, dolphins, seals, etc all deserve a life free of persecution. Humans are very destructive, sometimes it’s hard to find good things to say about them.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Another song, Scottish, and equally haunting – but no blood, so you can listen without having to grimace. Judy Collins incorporated what at the time were the first recordings of whales vocalising and apparently communicating under water.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. O/t but seen elsewhere. Wish I’d seen it yesterday 25th Jan –

    Address to a Boris

    Awa’ wi’ yer lyin’, pudgy face
    Chief conman o the Tory race
    Aw silver spuin, a waste o space
    Aw tripe, nae guts.
    Ye’re soon tae pay fur the disgrace
    Of yer cruel cuts.

    Yer groanin’ trencher there ye fill
    Yer hurdies like twa dimpled hills
    Yer plate wad hulp to feed a million
    Weans in need.
    While thro yer press whores lies still spill
    Like choukie feed.

    Yer lies gie Covid patients fright
    We mind yer ev’ry glaikit slight
    When trenchin’ breathless corpses tight
    In unmarked ditch.
    And ye? O whit a hideous sight
    Cake-reekin, rich.

    In hi-viz jaikit, coupon buffed
    Hard hat, hair-net, a mop, chest puffed
    Ye dinnae care yer country’s stuffed
    By old schuil chums.
    Fuid rots in docks yet ye’ve enough
    Tae glut yer gums.

    While ye trough thro yer French ragout
    Or olio that wad burst a coo
    It’s neeps and tatties in oor stew
    We’re keepin’ thinner.
    Yet ye sit sneerin’, scornfu’ too
    Wi’ ten course dinner.

    Poor “Boris” thocht he’d be World King
    Wi’ peasants kissin’ his gowd ring
    But noo he lives oan a shoestring
    He’s charged fur fuid!
    And maintenance fur his offspring!
    Nae bluidy guid!

    Pure feart o lassies, men and boys
    Yon Tories plot tae droun the noise
    Of true control, of fair free choice
    Fur independence.
    Oor sov’rinty yields not oor vyce
    Tae yer “acceptance”.

    Conmen, wha mak free folk thair slave
    Unite us mair oor land tae save
    New Scotland’s soon tae rule her wave
    Tae reach new glories.
    Be safe, oor southern pals, be brave:
    Just ditch the Tories.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Sorry to be o/t again but most of you know of Bruce from GrumpyScottishman blog; he comments here too. He’s blogged he has Covid 19 and his wife’s in hospital for observation with it.

    Get well soon both.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The New England whaling industry was originally centered on Nantucket. As the New England whalers had to sail farther and farther out into the Atlantic for whales, they rounded Cape Horn in the 1790’s and first entered the Pacific. That was where the whale ship Essex was sunk in 1820. Herman Melville wrote his book after hearing the grisly story of the sinking, and this article recounts Melville’s visit to Nantucket in 1852 where he first met the man who had captained the Essex.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear heavens, Danny.

      What an awful story.

      I can’t blame the whales for hating these ships that came to kill them, but people drawing lots to see who would kill another of their crew…


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yea……They didn’t tell us the story of the Essex in school when we read Melville’s book. He was working on a whaling ship in the Pacific in 1841 when he heard the story.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The 1956 Warner Bros. film “Moby Dick” starred Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab. There’s a story that a movie trailer for the film advertised Peck in the TITLE role.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Douglas…..It was a nasty business for sure. Whaling was banned in the United States in the early 1970’s except for certain exemptions for indigenous peoples. Apparently, Norway and Japan still haven’t gotten the message.

      Whale oil was big business in its time, and it lubricated the machines of the industrial age. It was used in automotive transmission fluid as late as the 1970’s, and presumably has properties superior to the alternatives. I’ve read that it’s debated as to the extent to which the decline of whaling and the reduced availability of whale oil for lighting was instrumental in the rise of the petroleum industry and the use of kerosene for lighting oil. I was surprised as a kid to learn that John D. Rockefeller formed the Standard Oil monopoly and built the greatest fortune of his time on the manufacture of kerosene for lighting, many years before gasoline and the rise of the automobile.

      Whale oil lamps were relatively crude technology and didn’t really give very good light compared with later kerosene lamps, which burned with a brighter, less smelly flame.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.