(Jimmy Dean / Larry Grossman)
Jimmy Dean - 1966
Striker Bill worked a whalin' boat, Big Eagle
And at slingin' a harpoon we all knew he was best
But Cap'n Paxton was tough an' his language vile and rough
And he used to cuss old Bill with every breath
A striker's job is to weald a ten foot harpoon
Takes a lot o' guts as well as skill
With sharks as thick as flies, if a striker slips he dies
But this never seemed to worry old Striker Bill
I asked Bill several times why he stayed with Paxton
He could strike for any boat, this I knew
He'd squint them steel grey eyes and always he'd reply
"Old salt, it's 'cause the Devil must have his dues"
Yeah, the Devil must have his dues old Bill'd chuckle
But the way he'd say it'd make your blood run cold
When I ask him what he meant, he'd say with that fiendish glint
"When the Devil gets his dues, old salt, you'll know"
'Twas Friday mornin' and the weather was somethin' awful
Paxton cussed Striker as Big Eagle pulled away
Big Eagle soon returned and that's the day we learned
What old Bill had meant by the things he'd say
At daybreak I heard somebody holler
"Hey, Big Eagle's pullin' back into the bay"
And there lyin' on her deck, Bill's harpoon through his neck
Was Paxton, yeah, it was quite a gory sight
The gangplank fell and Bill walked slowly down it
A crowd had gathered, oh, maybe a hundred or two
And as they led old Bill away, he turned to me to say
"Like I said, old salt, the Devil gets his dues"
(Transcribed by Mel Priddle - August 2020)