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The Last of the Great Whales

(The Last Leviathan)
  • (Andy Barnes)

    My soul has been torn from me and I am bleeding
    My heart it has been rent and I am crying
    All the beauty around me fades and I am screaming
    I am the last of the great whales
    And I am dying

    Last night I heard the cry of my last companion
    The roar of the harpoon gun and then I was alone
    I thought of the days gone by when we were thousands
    But I know that I soon must die
    The last leviathan

    This morning the sun did rise crimson in the north sky
    The ice was the colour of blood and the winds they did sigh
    I rose for to take a breath, it was my last one
    From a gun came the roar of death
    And now I am done

    Now that we are all gone there's no more hunting
    The big fellow is no more, it's no use lamenting
    What race will be next in line all for the slaughter
    The elephant or the seal
    Or your sons and daughters

    Repeat 1

    (as sung by The Dubliners / Sean Cannon)

    (C) 1986 FRIENDLY OVERTURES LTD / (The Last Leviathan)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [2000:] Over the next 24 hours [Japanese whaling ships will] proceed on a task that will engulf their country in criticism and bitter disapproval: the resumption of the hunting of some of the world's largest and most endangered whales. Despite last-minute personal pleas from Tony Blair and Bill Clinton to the Japanese Prime Minister, the vessels are scheduled to kill a total of 100 minke, 50 Brydes (pronounced brooder) and 10 sperm whales in the North Pacific in the next few days. It is the biggest catch attempted since a world ban on whaling was introduced two decades ago. According to Japan's Fisheries Agency, the aim is merely to study the eating and migratory behaviour of the animals. The fact that their meat will then be sold in local markets in Japan is merely a by-product, it claims.

    Yesterday most world leaders and environmentalists lined up to denounce this claim. 'The bottom line is that there is no convincing scientific reason for the Japanese to kill any whales at all,' said Helen Clark, the New Zealand Prime Minister. 'It is well known that meat from the whales killed during these "scientific" expeditions finishes up at Japanese dinner tables. That's what appals people.'

    Sperm whales - the giant toothed whales immortalised by Herman Melville in 'Moby Dick' - have the largest brains of any mammal, and also the most valuable flesh. The Japanese eat it raw - for £20 a slice in Tokyo restaurants. The fact that Japan has decided to kill Brydes and sperm - which are much larger than the minkes that they have already hunted 'scientifically' over the past few years - has provoked particular fury. These animals require processing in large factory ships that are currently banned under International Whaling Commission rules. 'This raises the spectre of a return to the sort of big-time whaling that drove many species of whales to the brink of extinction over the past century,' said Richard Mott, vice-president of the World Wildlife Fund. (Robin McKie, Observer, 30 Jul)


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aktualisiert am 21.12.2000