#00747
John Cook (Schooner Fare) video
#380: YouTube video by daverowe
©2008 ~ Used with permission ~

Oh, John Cook, ye have taken us to hell,
Locked up in the ice off Baffin Island;
We've been here for a year, now the water's comin' clear,
Won't you set for home, John Cook, without the oil?

We sailed her out of Gloucester, to hunt the mighty whale,
A crew of twenty seasoned whalin' men;
With Slocum at the helm and me and Drury haulin' sail,
And the Captain shouting orders at the wind.

The Captain's wife had begged to go and Cook could not deny her,
For Annie Cook was sweet and young and fair;
She spent this last year down below, a-huddled near the fire,
The whaler's lot was more than she could bear.

Oh, John Cook, ye have taken us to hell,
Locked up in the ice off Baffin Island;
We've been here for a year, now the water's comin' clear,
Won't you set for home, John Cook, without the oil?

With one year gone and one to go we'd less than half the oil,
Four hundred barrels filled and in the hold;
The Captain turned her north'ard where he knew we'd find the whale,
But instead of whales we found the bitter cold.

The Atlantic Queen did shudder as she braved the Arctic gales,
But her master would not heed the mate's advice:
Oh, Captain, turn her south'ard and damn the hellish whale,
For if you don't we'll soon be trapped in ice.

Oh, John Cook, ye have taken us to hell,
Locked up in the ice off Baffin Island;
We've been here for a year, now the water's comin' clear,
Won't you set for home, John Cook, without the oil?

Soon the ice stretched all around the proud Atlantic Queen,
And nine months gone the food began to spoil;
The Captain paced the foredeck, tortured, torn between,
His love for Ann and lusting for the oil.

For Annie Cook had begged her John to take her home to Gloucester,
Or sure it was she'd lose her sanity;
And the crew of the Atlantic Queen had charged her lord and master,
To point her south or face a mutiny.

Oh, John Cook, ye have taken us to hell,
Locked up in the ice off Baffin Island;
We've been here for a year, now the water's comin' clear,
Won't you set for home, John Cook, without the oil?

The Captain made his choice, he'd not return without the oil,
His pride was more important than his wife;
And when there came the mutiny he shot the Steward Boyle,
To take the Queen they'd have to take his life.

In two more weeks the ice cleared north, we set out the whales to find,
We took three beasts before the second day;
Michael Boyle had lost his life and Annie Cook had lost her mind,
And the Captain's coal black hair had gone to gray.

Oh, John Cook, ye have taken us to hell,
Locked up in the ice off Baffin Island;
We've been here for a year, now the water's comin' clear,
Won't you set for home, John Cook, without the oil?

Oh, John Cook, ye have taken us to hell,
Locked up in the ice off Baffin Island;
We've been here for a year, now the water's comin' clear,
Won't you set for home, John Cook, without the oil?

####.... Tom Rowe of Schooner Fare ....####
Recorded by Schooner Fare (Closer To The Wind, 1981; Classic Schooner Fare, 1989).

See more songs by Schooner Fare.

The video above was made at McGrath's Irish Pub in the Inn At Long Trail, Killington, Vermont, with the Dave Rowe Trio performing Dave's father Tom's original song.

From Provincetown History: Timeline - Dates At A Glance: 1913 - Final whaling cruise by Provincetown whaling captain John Cook on the Viola off the Pacific coast; Eugene O'Neill's play Ile is based upon the story of Captain Cook and his wife Viola



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