Jonah, from the Yiddish Forward Jonah Was a Prophet (Minor)

Follows Jonah 1:7


THE PHŒNICIAN MERCHANT TAR

Leland Bryant Ross


Sung by
Narrator (God?)

Some boast of Boston whalers, and some of Heyerdahl,
     Of fearsome Viking sailors, of clipper ships and tall,
But of all the world’s seagoing men the bravest man, by fa-ar,
     Was that round-boat, trireme-rowing man, the Phœnician merchant tar!

Whene’er his job demänded that he cleave a hurricane,
     With doughty heart undaunted he’d cleave that storm in twain
With one eye fixed on Ashtoreth and one upon the polar sta-ar,
     Pulling feats to make one catch her breath, the Phœnician merchant tar!

His courage wouldn’t falter, come lightning, Leviathan or hail,
     Or pirates based on Malta : he’d his faith in Ashtoreth and Baal.
He’d trust in mighty Moloch, and row from Crete to Gibraltá-ar,
     With the floorboards in a toelock, the Phœnician merchant tar!


Part (following Jonah 1:7) of my "comic worship oratorio" Jonah was a prophet (minor), © 1997 Liland Brajant Ros'

The tune is a British folk tune known as "The British Grenadiers", or as "Sheffield" when used as a hymn tune; it's also my favorite tune for "Hail to the Lord's Anointed".

Posted with MIDI accompaniment on 2000.11.15. Revised slightly 2004.10.09.

Here's a link to a somewhat livelier arrangement of the tune.




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