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STRIKER BILL (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)


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