LYRIC

[Verse 1]
There once was a ship that put to sea
And the name of that ship was the Billy o' Tea
The winds blew hard, her bow dipped down
Blow, me bully boys, blow (Huh!)

[Chorus]
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguin' is done
We'll take our leave and go

[Verse 2]
She had not been two weeks from shore
When down on her, a right whale bore
The captain called all hands and swore
He'd take that whale in tow (Hah!)

[Chorus]
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguin' is done
We'll take our leave and go

[Verse 3]
Before the boat had hit the water
The whale's tail came up and caught her
All hands to the side, harpooned and fought her
When she dived down below (Huh!)

[Chorus]
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguin' is done
We'll take our leave and go

[Verse 4]
No line was cut, no whale was freed
The Captain's mind was not on greed
But he belonged to the whaleman's creed
She took that ship in tow (Huh!)

[Chorus]
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguin' is done
We'll take our leave and go

[Verse 5]
For forty days, or even more
The line went slack, then tight once more
All boats were lost, there were only four
But still that whale did go

[Chorus]
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguin' is done
We'll take our leave and go

[Verse 6]
As far as I've heard, the fight's still on
The line's not cut and the whale's not gone
The Wellerman makes his a regular call
To encourage the Captain, crew, and all

[Chorus]
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguin' is done
We'll take our leave and go
Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguin' is done
We'll take our leave and go

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About "Wellerman"

From 1833 onwards, the Wellermen, ships owned by Weller Brothers of Sydney, supplied provisions to New Zealand shore whaling stations. They did this from their base in Otago, New Zealand, where they had established a whaling station in 1831.

Throughout their existence, the Wellermen (also known as the Weller brothers), became New Zealand’s paramount merchant traders. The lyrics evoke imagery of one of the Wellermen’s major functions; supplying “sugar, tea and rum” to shore whalers.

The ‘Wellerman’ sea song is frequently misidentified as a sea shanty, but with shanties being songs sung during repetitive work, ‘Wellerman’ is instead a whaling song or sea ballad, intended to tell a story or raise crew morale.

In January 2021, this song became a meme on TikTok. In February 2021, The Longest Johns broke the song down on Genius' “VERIFIED.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8y4hxTFIoY

Wellerman Track info

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