Music © 1977, BMI / words © 1981 Bill Leavenworth
I made (or captured) this tune coming down the French Shore of Nova Scotia. Nick Apollonio helped me remember it, all the way home across the Bay.
Bill was working as skipper on the crew boats for the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and he made this poem while driving home one winter.
Gordon – laud, 12-string guitar
Carol – harp
On my last trip long ago
I rolled in the swells off Isle Au Haut
And sang to myself with every seam
The song that sleeping whales dream.
From the whale path 'round Isle Au Haut
A sleeping whale answered, singing so,
Each to the other we gave the song
Till morning fetched a chance along
And they swing me off and headed home,
Whalesong trailing back in foam.
They passed my berth, nor brought me 'round
But up the cove and hard aground
They drove me; here I'll lie
While time and whales pass me by.
But summer evenings through my sides
Phosphorescent sluicing tides
Bring singing of a far off whale
Along the roads I used to sail.
When nothing's left but mud and frame
And all are gone who knew my name
May my simple boat's soul go
To a whale, singing off Isle Au Haut.