In today’s fact we learn about the Wellerman! Mr. Toes teaches us where the song came from, what its about and even hums a few bars.
The Fact a Day:
Did you know that…The Wellerman is a New Zealand folk song referring to whaling in the 1800’s. The reference to “Tonguing” refers to tonguers, men who would cut up the whales on shore and were often interpreters with the Maori who often worked on Whaling Crews.
Welleremen were the ships owned by the Weller Brothers of Sydney who supplied provisions to whalers. This included Sugar, tea and even rum. The term “Billy” was actually a metal can used for boiling water, however there is no evidence of a ship being named “Billy of Tea”.