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Lesson Sheet




  • This popular Sea Shanty is all about an old-time whaling ships search for a whale

  • I've done a solo tab version but if you strummed out the chords then you could sing along with the lyrics below.



For the 'advanced' solo version of this tune please click here...


'Wellerman' Lyric

There once was a ship that put to sea

              Gm                                      Dm
And the name of that ship was the Billy o' Tea

The winds blew hard, her bow dipped down

A7                              Dm
Blow, me bully boys, blow (huh)
Bb                     F
Soon may the Wellerman come

     Gm                            Dm
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
Bb                             F
One day, when the tonguing is done
          A7                             Dm
We'll take our leave and go
She had not been two weeks from shore
When down on her a right whale bore
The captain called all hands and swore
He'd take that whale in tow (huh)

Before the boat had hit the water
The whale's tail came up and caught her
All hands to the side, harpooned and fought her
When she dived down below (huh)

No line was cut, no whale was freed
An' the captain's mind was not on greed
But he belonged to the Whaleman's creed
She took that ship in tow (huh)

For forty days or even more (ooh)

The line went slack then tight once more
All boats were lost, there were only four
And still that whale did go

As far as I've heard, the fight's still on

The line's not cut, and the whale's not gone
The Wellerman makes his regular call
To encourage the captain, crew and all


   © J. Cockshott 2015 : Terms and Conditions