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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Stewie Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (1001* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 17 Jan 21


Here's another song of the sea from the land of the long white cloud.

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 home again
For that is the sailor's fate

I've run aground in many a sound
Without a pilot aboard
Longboat lowered by lantern light
Pushed off and gently oared
Rowlock 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 away to the northward
We've sailed away to the 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 through the Strait
Port Cooper, Ocean, Tom Kain's Bay
For that is the sailor's fate

The above is as printed in 'Song of a Young Country' p11. Note by Colquhoun:

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 wind-swept islands spread rapidly. The seaman on the coastal trading vessels carried these stories with them as they sailed 'eastward round by Dusky Sound and Pegasus through the Strait'.

Here is a rendition by Phil Garland. It has a chorus and different final stanza:

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

Final stanza:
We've sailed away to northward, we've hauled away to east
We've trimmed our sail in the teeth of a gale and stood in calmest seas
We've set our course by a southern star, by Stewart through the Strait
Westward round by Milford Sound for that is the sailor's fate

Youtube clip

Here is a link to the entry in the NZ folk song site:

Click

This rendition by Phil Drane is also fine:

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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