Cap'n of a Whalin' Ship

By Rick Northup Feb 22, 1960

From my very earliest memories, I knew my future sure.

My folks lived out in a filthy slum. I'd not be like they were.

I had 'er all planned out just so. I knew what I 'ud do.

I'd be the Cap'n of a Whalin' ship, with a 56 man crew.

I studied on it as hard as I could, and I couldn't learn enough.

I studied all about whalin' 'n' all about sailin' ships 'n' stuff.

I studied all through college. Whalin' life, that's for me.

I knew more about it than most sailors did and I'd never seen the sea.

I read lotsa books like "Moby Dick" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"

Then I headed out to the ocean, a sailor soon to be.

But on my way to the Eastern Coast, I noticed my money was low.

So I stopped for a spell at a farmer's place, tryin' to make a little dough.

I'd stayed there plenty long enough. My money'd surely hold.

When I fell in love with the farmer's daughter, and I wouldn't leave there for gold.

Well, I figured I'd get married, then continue on my way.

But Mary had a different idea. She didn't want to go away.

"I'll tell you what", my Mary said, "We'll stay here just one year."

Well, I couldn't argue with a thing like that, so I said, "Well, OK, Dear."

So, I settled back into farmin'...I'd just be there a while.

And one bright morning, I left for the field, a distance of half a mile.

I loaded a load of hay by myself and started it up to the house.

But on the way, the horse, she shied. Was frightened by a small field mouse.

Well, the wagon pitched and off I fell. Along came my pitchfork, too.

The fork, she landed upside-down, and the tines went right straight through.

Now I can't walk and I can't shout. No way to get my wife,

And I'm dyin', a lousy farmer, and a pitchfork took my life.

E-mail Rick

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