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Thorkild's Song

[words Rudyard Kipling, music Peter Bellamy]

Thorkild's Song is a shanty from Rudyard Kipling's book Puck of Pook's Hill. Peter Bellamy sang it with Jim Ellison joining in on chorus in 1989 on his last LP, Rudyard Kipling Made Exceedingly Good Songs. He also sang it with Sharon and the Students—the massed chorus of the Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley—in a radio session for Pennine Radio in Bradford. This recording was included in 2002 on the Free Reed anthology This Label Is Not Removable. Peter Bellamy cheekily noted in the original album's notes:

Did the Vikings sing shanties? Of course they did!

Lyrics

Rudyard Kipling's poem Thorkild's Song Peter Bellamy sings Thorkild's Song

There's no wind along these seas,
    Out oars for Stavenger!
    Forward all for Stavenger!
So we must wake the white-ash breeze,
    Let fall for Stavenger!
    A long pull for Stavenger!

There's no wind along these seas,
    Long pull for Stavenger!
So we must wake the white-ash breeze,
    Long pull for Stavenger!

Oh, hear the benches creak and strain!
    (A long pull for Stavenger!)
She thinks she smells the Northland rain!
    (A long pull for Stavenger!)

Oh, hear the benches creak and strain!
    Long pull for Stavenger!
She thinks she smells the Northland rain!
    Long pull for Stavenger!

She thinks she smells the Northland snow,
And she's as glad as we to go,

She thinks she smells the Northland snow,
And she's as glad as we to go,

She thinks she smells the Northland rime,
And the dear dark nights of winter-time.

She thinks she smells the Northland rime,
And the dear dark nights of winter-time.

She wants to be at her own home pier,
To shift her sails and standing gear.

She wants to be at her own home pier,
To shift her sails and standing gear.

She wants to be in her winter-shed,
To strip herself and go to bed,

And she wants to be in her winter-shed,
To strip herself and go to bed,

Her very bolts are sick for shore,
And we—we want it ten times more!

Her very bolts are sick for shore,
And we—we want it ten times more!

So all you Gods that love brave men,
Send us a three-reef gale again!

So all you Gods that love brave men,
Send us a three-reef gale again!

Send us a gale, and watch us come,
With close-cropped canvas slashing home!

Oh, send us a gale, and watch us come,
With close-cropped canvas slashing home!

But—there's no wind on all these seas,
    A long pull for Stavenger!
So we must wake the white-ash breeze,
    A long pull for Stavenger!

But—there's no wind on all these seas,
    Long pull for Stavenger!
So we must wake the white-ash breeze,
    Long pull for Stavenger!