Old Polina
Great Big Sea Lyrics

There's a noble fleet of whalers
They're sailing from Dundee
Manned by British sailors
That take them o'er the sea
On a western ocean passage
We started on the trip
We flew along just like a song
On a gallant whaling ship
Was the second Sunday morning
Just after leaving port
We met a heavy sou'west gale
And washed away our boat
It washed away our quarterdeck
Our stanchions just as well
And so we set the whole shebang
A-floatin' in the gale

For the wind was on our quarter
The engines working free
There's not another whaler
That sails the arctic sea
Can't beat the Old Polina
You need not try my sons
We challenged all both great and small
From Dundee to St John's

Art Jackman set his canvas
Fair Weather galloped steam
And Captain Guy, the daring boy
Came plunging through the stream
And Mullins in the Husky
Tried to beat the bloody lot
But to beat the Old Polina boys
Was something he could not


There's the noble terra Nova
A model without doubt
The Arctic and Aurora
They talk so much about
Art Jackman's model mail boat
The terror of the sea
Tried to beat the Old Polina
On a passage from Dundee


Now we're back in old St John's
Where rum is very cheap
We'll drink a health of Captain Guy
Who brought us o'er the deep
A health to all our sweethearts
And to our wives so fair
Not another ship could make the trip
The Polina I declare

[Chorus: x2]

Lyrics © LEAN GROUND MUSIC LTD., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: TRAD, Alan Thomas Doyle, Robert Bruce Hallett, Shawn McCann

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:


According to wiki, the song most likely refers to the Polynia, a ship for the Dundee Seal and Whale Fishing Company, which was captained by William Guy from 1883 - 1891 when she was sunk by ice. The other ships mentioned in the song- the Arctic, Aurora, Husky, and Terra Nova were also ships in the company fleet. In fact, the Aurora rescued the Polyna's crew when she sunk. 
Every year, the fleet would make a passage from Dundee Scotland to Newfoundland where they would pick up whalers and then go out to sea to hunt. Since the first ships to make port would have the pick of the most experienced men, there was a competition among the captains to see who could make the fastest time.

Matthew Mackenzie

Thank you Lad the stories sometimes more cool than the song!!

Bolero Forté

Thanks, wikibot

Madame Kilbourne

That is so freakimg cool!!!


Way to go man! That fills in a ton of info in the song.


Awesome song!!!!  Such a Newfoundland folksong.


THANK you for uploading this song. I loved it, but it wasn't on youtube which was insanely annoying

Inner Demon

I think part of why I love this is that they don't say there's not another whaler that COULD, they're saying there's not another whaler that can. Could means they're just talking about when it was still making trips. Can? Can means right now at the least, and until the end of time at the most. So they could be saying that no other ship will EVER do it faster

Eric Stix

It’s the ship that made the Dundee Passage in less than twelve parsecs.

Kaged Birdd

US citizen, but I listened to this album constantly when I was a kid.

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