This whaling ballad was written long before the song became a surprise internet sensation. In the Nineteenth Century, the original Weller Brothers (Wellermen) brought supplies to remote whaling communities off the New Zealand coast. The lyrics speak of the voyage of one whaling vessel, the Billy of Tea, whose voyage did not go according to plan. Locked in an endless battle with a whale, they longed for a supply ship to bring them sugar, tea, and rum.
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