South Ocean

South Ocean is the new EP from Sea Shepherd crew member James Brook.

Recorded at sea during an anti whaling campaign in Antarctica, this unique mini album contains 7 tracks of original pirate folk songs. In difficult conditions the crew braved sub zero temperatures to set up a temporary studio in the focsle (workshop) in the bow of the conservation ship M/Y Steve Irwin.

Over many nights songs were played, arranged and recorded in between clashes with the illegal whaling fleet. Listeners can hear authentic ship noises in the background as waves slosh against the hull, the anchors clatter and the ever present engines purr .This historic recording could well be the most southerly recorded album ever, much of it done below 70 degrees south.

Sung in a twenty first century sea shanty style, these modern pirate songs celebrate Sea Shepherds’ militant form of direct action conservation and the sacrifices the volunteer crew go through in order to keep the campaigns and ships running.

Any one who is a fan of the documentary TV series Whale Wars, a Sea Shepherd supporter or even folk or maritime enthusiasts will find a rare insight into the emotions and hardships of life aboard the famous ships

Track Listing

Shut You Down

… is an anthem for the campaign to protect the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. Describing the ship in action against the whaling fleet, its catchy, hypnotic final chorus stays in the mind as a chant of defiance to protect the ocean.

South Ocean Night

… is a ballad, sung from a lonely cabin in a vast sea, dreaming of family and friends that have become distant memories.

Weapon Again

… is a junkyard blues style describing the unglamorous dirty work of dockyard repairs to covert the old ships into fighting eco warships.

Indian Ocean

… is a Scottish influenced fiddle tune written on the waters of its title.

Shipwreck Dreams

… sings of the dangers faced by any vessel in the iceberg strewn waters of Antarctica. Dedicated to the crew of the yacht Bezerk whose distress call Steve Irwin responded to, tragically only finding its empty life raft in the search.

Bosun Bebawi

… is a low fi acoustic disco pop tune warning the crew of the impending return of the notorious and legendary leader of the deck department.

Black Ship

… is a folk pop song telling the stories of some of the crew and the families they have left behind.




Shut You Down

(G)I got a radio
And my (D)hands are cold
Three (G)kill ships lurch
In the (D)harsh grey swell
Got the (A)Nissan Maru dead ahead
As the (Bm)bow slams into a force nine gale
In the (A)galley below the pots clatter and fall
The (Bm)drains gurgle like the ghosts from (A)hell

On the(G) bridge
The (D)radar glows
As the (G)first mate grabs
For the (D)satellite phone
Sayin’(A) “Bob Barker, Bob Barker,
(Bm)Alter your course we’re coming round,
(A)Block the slipway, don’t get too close,
(Bm)We’re gunna come at them (A)head on!”

(Bm)Action stations to the(A) water cannon
(Bm)Helmets on deploy the (A)prop fouler
(Bm)If you’re sea sick now its (A)your bad luck
(Bm)We need you up on deck right now(A)

In your(G) mustang suit
It’ll(D) keep you dry
Get the (G)crane warmed up
And the (D)Delta will fly

(A)Over the swell as the chopper goes up
(Bm)We’re crazy people working real hard
(A)Representing the people of the world
(Bm)Who’ve had enough
Who’ve had enough(A)

Of the (G)criminals
Who (D)kill wild life
Is (G)nothing to be left
(D)Untouched unkilled

(A)Well we’re standing up we’re chasing you down
Yeah the (Bm)hunters are hunted in your killing ground
You (A)cowards who kill innocent beasts
In a (Bm)sanctuary
We’re coming for (A)you

(Bm)You can squirm and run but we’ve (A)got you now
In an (Bm)ice filled sea and a (A)swell side on
(Bm)You rammed Ady Gil (A)Smashed her in two
It’s a (Bm)sea crime you could have (A)killed the whole crew
The (Bm)only way to win is if the (A)human beings
(Bm)Fight to restore the (A)world’s oceans
(Bm)Repair the harm that (A)we’ve caused
(Bm)To the natural world
To the natural world(A)

(Bm)We’ll never give up (A)Never give in
(Bm)We’re gonna shut you down in the (A)Southern Ocean
(G) Never give up(D)Never give in
(G)We’re gonna shut you down in the (D)Southern Ocean
(Bm)Never give up
(A)Never give in gonna (Bm)shut you down in every ocean(G D)

Written 2010 Operation Waltzing Matilda

South Ocean Night

(G D Em C)

I Got pictures of your smiling faces
Stuck on the wet bulkhead by the port hole
Music playing reminding me of four years ago

Rain and an old fishing town
On the south coast
At night I dream of happy times
Remember us together in a simple life

But its just a fond memory
You stayed there and I went to sea
I long for you
When I’m sure in fact you’ve moved on

I’m an old friend and a visitor
But its what lives in my mind
As my
Special happy time

It’s over and I wonder if I have any sort of life
Outside of this ship
Smashing into the waves on this
Icy South Ocean Night

Written 2010 Operation Waltzing Matilda

Weapon Again


(E)The crowds of Hobart cheered us from the dock
As we(A) sat on the heli deck and (D)watched (A)Tassie (E)recede
Rounded the cliffs of the Peninsular
Goodbye our families we’re heading out to sea

To the black river of Brisbane town
Sugar terminal became our new home
Pythons rain grinding steel
Black ship under the Queensland sun


She got (D)cracked fuel tanks and (A)rusty deck
(D)Steel toe caps and (A)welding arcs
(D)Oxyacetylene (A)epoxy paint
(D)We’re turning this ship(A) into a (D)weapon (E)again

High in the sky of the dry dock
We cut the bow open and welded the bent frame
The hull was crushed in Antarctic ice
Collision damage from the last campaign

The crew come &the crew depart
There ain’t no glory in the dock yard
Pumped oily mud from the anchor chain
So the Westra can go to sea again


Sailed into Sydney harbour
Choppers and cameras as we berthed at circular quay
Governments argue but the people love us
Black ship we’re pirates with big hearts

Back to Tassie stuck in Geelong
Fish factories old growth chip piles
Abattoirs live export ships
Where ever we go we’re parked up next to shit


Humpbacks splash in Fremantle
Seeing them it makes it all worthwhile
Food money people do donate
As we’re bolting on the anti boarding spikes

We’re steaming out to the wilderness
Spy ship yeah they’re following us
We’re the law down here gunna give them hell
Black ship Pirates with big hearts
We’re gunna turn this ship into a weapon again

Written 2010 Operation Waltzing Matilda


(Am)In the Freo town hall the pirate flag (F)flys
(Am)Speeches and cheers of ships that have(F) died
(G)Getting a bit scared see the freezing cold (F)dark
(G)Trapped in the hull in Antarctica(F)

(Am)Little bit sad if this is the (F)end
After(Am) nine hard months of (F)working
It’s the (G)last chance now

You can (Am)stay on the dock
Could be going (C)to our graves
In the (G)Southern (F)Ocean

This year it’s the big one
Were gunna stop them or they’re gunna do us
Keeping the wild alive for one more year
Want to see you again
Want to survive


If the engines fail again or a growler we hit
Risking it all in a half arsed ship
Don’t wanna die four days to decide
We’re coming to rescue ice water mammals
Swimming across the world
Mothers children
Mothers children

Hunting machines
Ocean is not your factory
The icy wastes
You can stay on the dock
Could be going to our graves in the Southern Ocean

Written Fremantle/Antarctica Operation Waltzing Matilda 2009 Dedicated to the crew of yacht Bezerk


(Bm D A)

Bosun Bebawi’s got it in for us
His hands are huge and his tongue is sharp
Don’t be scared to polish the brass
Says he in tones both cruel and harsh

Bosun Bebawi is an evil man
With a devlish grin he’ll make you scrub that pan
Boiling water scalding hot
If the crew gets sick it’ll be your fault

Bosun got eyes in the back of his brain
He pilots inflatables like he’s insane
With waves side on and a nasty swell
He’ll smash your bones against the fibre glass hull

Bosun Bebawi don’t know when to stop
He shouts his orders like a riot cop
You there hey hey put your tools away
Don’t leave them to rust at the end of the day

Better keeps those hatches well dogged down
Or from the Bosun you’ll get a frown
We don’t want no seas coming inside
If you do it again your guts will be fried

Mop the companionways vacume the mess
Clean the paint locker bleach in the heads
Bebawis on your back your fears inside
He’s a hard hard man he’s never ever kind

Keep your wits about you don’t slacken off
His fists are hard he hates crew who sloth
His boots of steel his harsh voice barks
Beware ship mates the Bosun’s coming back

Written Brisbane Sugar Terminal dock 2009


(G)Black (C)ship stole(G) baby (D)awayv She (C)drives inflatables(G) in the Ross (D)Sea
A rolling sea and a freezing wind
She won’t be spending Christmas with me
Black ship stole Daddy away
He took us to the movies on his last day
We hugged and kissed down on the quay
Now he’s an activist in a whale sanctuary
(Em)Black ship took our (D)daughter from us
One morning in Bermuda and she was off
She keeps the crew fed and works all day
From tropical islands to Antarctic wastes

Black ship’s where mummy is
Grinding metal and cleaning the heads
She’s got overalls and a welding mask
Refitting the ship down at the docks
Black ship my lover is gone
He sends me emails I tell him he’s wrong
Better be back after this campaign
I’m not waiting longer I’ll have to leave him
(Em D)
Our loved ones and our families
You understand why we’re doing this
We miss you but believe in this cause
The oceans of the world are calling to us

To all the future kids
We knew we were killing it
Did you sit and shop and watch her die
Did you try and protect some life
How much longer you think we got
Before extinction comes all life is lost?
Half the oxygen it comes from the sea
We’re killing the fish before they can breed

Written Hobart 2009/Waltzing Matilda 2010



South Ocean on Bandcamp