Mudcat Café message #114029 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13706   Message #114029
Posted By: Joe Offer
13-Sep-99 - 10:34 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Soon May the Wellerman Come
Subject: RE: Help: Soon May the Wellerman Come
From Gordon Bok's notes for the And So will We Yet CD by Bok, Muir, and Trickett:
From a book Chris Morgan lent (Bok), called (he thinks) Folk songs of New Zealand. It's a shore-whaler's song, made by the New Zealanders who went to live on the archipelagos to catch whales from small boats. They got their "stake" from an agent of the big companies (like the Weller Company) - hence, any agent of those companies became a "Wellerman." they were paid in staples, not money, so many of them never made enough to return home, and ended up farming or fishing on the little islands upon which they were "set down."
This is a fanciful tale they put together about big-ship whaling: the picture of a 3-master being towed on some Nantucket sleigh ride by a single whale has some startling implications.
Click here for lyrics and the opinions of others, including the esteemed R. Greenhaus.
-Joe Offer-