Traditional (sung by Stan Rogers, among others)
It’s a damn tough life, full of toil and strife, we whalermen under go.
And we don’t give a damn, when the gale is done, how hard the winds did blow.
‘Cause we’re homeward bound, from the arctic ground, with a good ship taught and free.
And we won’t give a damn when we drink our rum with the girls of Old Maui.
Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys,
Rolling down to Old Maui.
We’re homeward bound from the Arctic ground,
Rolling down to Old Maui..
Once more we sail, with the northerly gale, through the ice and wind and rain.
Them coconut fronds, them tropical lands, we soon shall see again.
Six hellish months we’ve passed away on the cold Kamchatka sea.
But now we’re bound from the Arctic Ground, rolling down to Old Maui.
Once more we sail with the northerly gale, towards our island home.
Our main mast sprung, or whaling done, and we ain’t got far to roam.
Our stun’s’l bones is carried away, what care we for that sound?
A living gale is after us, thank god we’re homeward bound.
How soft the breeze through the island trees, now the ice is far astern.
Them native maids, them tropical glades, is awaiting our return.
Even now their big brown eyes look out, hoping some fine day to see,
Our baggy sails, running ‘fore the gales, rolling down to Old Maui.