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Song of the Whale

from The Wilderness Yet by The Wilderness Yet

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We paired this beautiful anti-whaling song by the great Eric Bogle, with an old Irish air. Two hundred years ago, fishermen on the Blasket Islands heard a lamenting that they decided was Port na bPúcaí – The Music of the Fairies. We now know that they were hearing the song of the humpback whales reverberating through the hulls of their wooden & canvas boats. There were two families on Inisvicillane at the time who had the melody; the Guiheens and the Ó Dálaighs. Rowan's family in Dingle is entwined with the last Guiheens to leave the island in 1953... and so we have the story on good authority!


The saddest sound I've ever heard
Is the song of the hump-backed whale
His moans and sighs and his eerie cries
Sing a sad familiar tale

For he sighs and blows as if he knows
His race is nearly run
And soon with all of his kind he'll fall
Beneath the whaler's gun

For every living thing on earth
Nature found a space
Each a living strand of a fragile plan
That can never be replaced

And not from need, but from wanton greed
Man has torn down nature's web
With greed possessed he will not rest
Till the last of the whales is dead

In my mind's eye I can see them die
As the whaler finds his mark
Hear the muffled boom of the cruel harpoon
As it blasts their lives apart
I see the flood of their rich dark blood
As it stains the ocean red
And that bloody green will not wash clean
Till the last of the whales is dead


from The Wilderness Yet, released July 24, 2020
Rosie Hodgson – lead vocal
Philippe Barnes – guitar, flute
Rowan Piggott – viola d'amore

Rowan Piggott – mixing
Sam Proctor – mastering
Adam Oehlers – artwork


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The Wilderness Yet UK

The Wilderness Yet combines the acclaimed talents of folksinger Rosie Hodgson, traditional fiddler Rowan Piggott, and guitarist-flautist Philippe Barnes. Independently, they have earned audiences’ esteem as consummate musicians; together, they weave a tapestry of traditional & self-penned songs with a charm and familarity that is usually only found in seasoned line-ups.​ ... more

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