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GerryM Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (1001* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 20 Dec 20

John Warner

As the weaver lays her webs, so the seasons turn.            
In the heart an aching sets, the seaward ways to learn.
With the coming of the Spring, and the cruel ice breaking,
Men have built them carven ships, and the whaleroad taken.

The whaleroad is a restless road. The lifting of the prow,
The heaving of the bellied sail, the salt spray on the brow.
The oar thresh on the lifting swell, a white bird on the foam,
The surf snarl on the gravel strand, the heart that aches for home.

Proud Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks took the great whales' way.
Vikings from the icy North dropped anchor in the bay.
Drake, Magellan, Tasman, Cook, and other names beside
Hauled their anchors, trimmed their sails, to catch the morning tide.

Reef the main to gallant there, the squall is coming hard.      
Tiny men string out like crows along the topsail yard.
Reeling from the freezing blast, the ship rides out the wave.
Many an aching tired hand has made Cape Horn his grave.

What's this madness in the blood that spurs them on to fight
The twisting of the wave-flung wheel in the howling night?
Who can answer but themselves? Perhaps not even they, but
Breast the capstan, man the brace, let's get her underway.


Another terrific song by John Warner. On his album, The Sea and the Soil. So far as I know, no recording has been posted to the web.

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