Nantucket Sleighride
(To Owen Coffin)

(by Mountain, from the album of the same name)

Goodbye, little Robin-Marie
Don't try following me
Don't cry, little Robin-Marie
'Cause you know I'm coming home soon

My ships' leaving on a three-year tour
The next tide will take us from shore
Windlaced, gather in sail and spray
On a search for the mighty sperm whale

Fly your willow branches
Wrap your body round my soul
Lay down your reeds and drums on my soft sheets
There are years behind us reaching
To the place where hearts are beating
And I know you're the last true love I'll ever meet

Starbuck's sharpening his harpoon
The black man's playing his tune
An old salt's sleeping his watch away
He'll be drunk again before noon

Three years sailing on bended knee
We found no whales in the sea
Don't cry, little Robin-Marie
'Cause we'll be in sight of land soon

Copyright 1970 Upfall Music Corp. (ASCAP)
All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal: I'd always wondered about the name of this song. Ron Pardo in Canada sent me this explanation:

``The term "Nantucket Sleighride" was coined by the whalers to explain what happened after they harpooned a whale. The first harpoon was not intended to kill the whale but only to attach it to the whale boat. Then the whale would take off... pulling the whale boat along on a "Nantucket Sleighride". The whale would tire itself out, then the leading officer in the boat would use a lance and stab the whale until dead.''

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Last updated: 15 December 2001

Copyright 1996 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal <> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514