This work is one of the largest collections of ballads and songs traditionally sung by the seamen. It contains over 175 songs, with music provided for most of them. There are songs of storm, shipwreck, love, tragedy, and death; gospel, parlor, bawdy songs, and more. The author's introduction details the history of whaling and discusses how and why these songs were recorded. In addition, he gives complete histories of the songs; relates the events the ballads celebrate; gives variants; and defines whaling expressions.
By Gale Huntington, 328 pages.