I've written a lot of stories about whales in the last year, for various reasons. (Sample reason: My publication seems to have an insatiable appetite for whale stories.) Here, let me summarize the story of the world's whales: There used to be a lot of whales. Then we killed almost all of them. Now there aren't very many left.
So it was kind of interesting this weekend at the dress rehearsal and performance of The May Version of the Christmas Show when I actually paid attention to the lyrics of "Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning":
They advertised in Boston, New York and Buffalo:
"Five hundred brave Americans a-whaling for to go."
They take you to New Bedford, that famous whaling port:
And give you to some landsharks to board and fit you out.
So, that's where the whales went. Right there. They fished out one species and moved on to the next. I'm not blaming anybody. We had a different relationship with natural resources then. It's just interesting to think that's what we're celebrating when we sing these songs.