Jack was every inch a Sailor
A traditional Newfoundland and Labrador
folk song. It is a loose and comical retelling of the biblical Jonah story,
with a Newfoundland
whaler as protagonist and hero, as in this tale the whale gets his comeuppance. It seems to have been adapted from a New York City music-hall
song "Every Inch a Sailor", which itself was a burlesque of "HMS
Jack was every inch a sailor
'Twas twenty-five or thirty years since Jack first saw the light,
He came into this world of woe one dark and stormy night;
He was born on board his father's ship as she was lying to,
'Bout twenty-five or thirty miles southeast of Baccalieu.
Oh, Jack was every inch a sailor,
Five and twenty years a whaler;
Jack was every inch a sailor,
He was born upon the bright blue sea.
When Jack grew up to be a man he went to the Labrador,
He fished in Indian Harbour where his father fished before;
On his returning in the fog he met a heavy gale,
And Jack was swept into the sea and swallowed by a whale.
Oh, the whale went straight for Baffin Bay, 'bout ninety knots an hour,
And every time he'd blow a spray he'd send it in a shower;
Oh, now, says Jack unto himself, I must see what he's about,
He caught the whale all by the tail and turned him inside out.