Row On, Row On

The late Gale Huntingdon of Martha's vineyard USA made a collection of songs noted in the logbooks of whaling ships, and published them in 'Songs the Whalemen Sang'. The book is not full of raucous sea songs, but of the songs the whalermen took with them to sea, often the popular songs of the day. She found this song in the logbook of the whaleship “Three Brothers, Nantucket, 1846”. The Dorset singer Tim Laycock gave it a tune and has recorded it with the New Scorpion Band.


Row on, Row on
Clouds are upon a summer’s sky
There's thunder in the wind
Pull, pull away and homeward hie
Nor give one look behind
Row on; row on, another day
May shine with brighter light
Ply, ply the oars and pull away
There’s dawn beyond the night
Where e’er thou goest the words of love
Say all that words can say
Changeless affections strength to prove
But speed upon the way
Like yonder river will I glide
To where my heart would be
My barque should soon out sail the tide
That hurries to the sea
And yet a star shines constant still
Through yonder cloudy sky
And hope like this my bosom fill
From faith that cannot die
Row on; row on God speed the wave
Thou must not linger here
Clouds hang about the closing day
Tomorrow may be clear