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Stewie Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (1010* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 21 Nov 20


ACROSS THE LINE
(Anon)

I’ve traded with the Maoris
Brazilians and Chinese
I’ve courted half-caste beauties
Beneath the kauri trees
I’ve travelled along with a laugh and a song
In the land where they call you mate
Around the Horn and back again
For that is the sailor’s fate

Chorus:
Across the line, the Gulf stream
I’ve been in Table Bay
Around the Horn and home again
For that is the sailor’s way

I’ve run aground in many a sound
Without a pilot aboard
Longboat lowered by lantern light
Pushed off and gently oared
Row-lock creaking, a thumping swell
And a wind that would make you ache
Who would sail the seven seas
And share a sailor’s fate

We’ve sailed to northward
We’ve sailed away to east
We’ve skinned our sail in the teeth of a gale
And stood in the calmest seas
Eastward 'round by Dusky Sound
And Pegasus though the Strait
Port Cooper, Ocean, Tom Kain’s Bay
For that is a sailor’s fate

Youtube clip

Garland’s version, particularly in the second half of the third stanza, differs from the above which was first published in the ‘Canterbury Times’ in 1913.

In the north, the Bay of Islands became busier and busier. Kororareka grew as the world’s southernmost port with whitewashed houses lining the shore. However, in the south, the sealing industry was dying, for the massive slaughter of seals as they came ashore to calve led to their rapid decrease in numbers. Sailors, moreover, were far less willing to seal. Tales of gangs left to die on the southernmost storm-swept islands spread rapidly. The seamen on the coastal trading vessels carried these stories with them as they sailed ‘eastward 'round by Dusky Sound and Pegasus through the Strait. Note in ‘Song of a Young Country’ p11.

--Stewie.


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