From the recording Nantucket Girl
The Nantucket Girl’s Song
• Susan J. Berman - Guitar & Vocals
• Ray K. Saunders - Lead Guitar
• Cadence Carroll - Backing Vocals
• Mark Dann - Bass
• Victor Ferrantella – Percussion
The Nantucket Girl's Song is a witty poem written by a Nantucket woman during the whaling era in the 19th century. At that time Nantucket Island was a unique place to be a woman as men were off whaling. Women on dry land outnumbered men by significant numbers. They ran businesses, dictated social normalcy and did things that their female counterparts on the mainland couldn't dream of doing. This light hearted poem sums up how many women felt about their husbands being off on whaling voyages for years at a time.
The poem was found in a journal kept by Eliza Brock, wife of Peter C. Brock, master of the Nantucket ship Lexington on a whaling voyage from May 1853 to June 1856. Historians believe the poem was written by another Nantucket woman named Mary Ford. Mary moved to Bay of Isles, New Zealand with her husband. Bay of Isles was a frequent and infamous port of call for Nantucket whale ships.
I've set this poem to music and added a verse of my own for today’s Nantucket Girls!
Nantucket Girl’s Song
By Susan J Berman
Well I’ve made up my mind now to be a sailor’s wife,
Have a purse full of money and a very easy life.
For a clever sailor husband is so seldom at his home,
That a wife can spend the dollars with a will that’s all her own.
So I’ll haste to wed a sailor then I’ll send him off to sea,
For a life of independence is the pleasant life for me.
Oh but every now and then I shall like to see his face,
For it always seems to me to beam with manly grace.
With his brow so nobly open and his dark and kindly eye,
Oh my heart beats fondly whenever he is nigh.
But when he says goodbye my love I’m off across the sea,
First I’ll cry for his departure, then I’ll laugh because I’m free.
I will welcome him most gladly whenever he returns,
And share with him so cheerfully the money that he earns.
For he is a loving husband, though he leads a roving life,
And well I know how good it is to be a sailor’s wife.
So Nantucket girls please heed me and join in with this song,
Hold fast to the tradition of great women brave and strong.
For the women run this island quite well there is no doubt
And do the things most other girls can only dream about.