Info → Home Of The Whale

 

 Single Cover for the Mayday Mix of Home Of The Whale that was released in June 2018.

Single Cover for the Mayday Mix of Home Of The Whale that was released in June 2018.

Development

UK Release: 10th February 1992 (Massive Attack EP)

Track Duration: 04:08

Formats: CD, Vinyl, Cassette, Digital. View Discography Entry.

Written By: Owen Hand

Produced By: Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall, Andrew Vowles and Caroline Lavell

Cello: Caroline Lavelle

Engineer: Geoff Hunt

Home Of The Whale was the product of Massive Attack wanting to do something radically different soon after the release of Blue Lines. The natural response to this thinking was the unortodox move of covering an old Irish folk song. They hooked-up with the soon to be singer of the song, Caroline Lavelle, singer and cellist whom they met in London, UK. It was Caroline Lavelle's idea that they cover this particular song as she had first heard it being sung by Mary Black, an Irish folk artist, when she was working with her during the eighties in Ireland, and had loved it ever since.

Additional Info

 Caroline Lavelle, the British singer-songwriter and cellist who was the vocalist on Home Of The Whale.

Caroline Lavelle, the British singer-songwriter and cellist who was the vocalist on Home Of The Whale.

The Home Of The Whale track found its way onto what was known as the Massive Attack EP released in February 1992. This post-Blue Lines EP contained new remixes of Hymn Of The Big Wheel, Daydreaming and Any Love, with Home Of The Whale being the sole new track

Caroline Lavelle, some years later would redo Home Of The Whale with Marius De Vries, a former Massive Attack collaborator himself, who did additional programming and arrangement of the Protection album. This reworked version of Home Of The Whale eventually ended up on the soundtrack to the 1999 thriller movie, Eye Of The Beholder.

Home Of The Whale has never been played live by Massive Attack.

Variations/Remixes

Mayday Mix – Released as a online single on the 8th June 2018 (which is also World Ocean Day), this remix of the original Home Of The Whale is an instrumental ambient reworking of the track. It was released in collaboration with a organisation known as Parley For The Oceans, who self-describe themselves as "A PLACE WHERE CREATORS, THINKERS, AND LEADERS COME TOGETHER TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR THE BEAUTY AND FRAGILITY OF OUR OCEANS AND COLLABORATE ON PROJECTS THAT CAN END THEIR DESTRUCTION".

Notable Quotes

Daddy G on Home Of The Whale – As soon as you think you've got Massive Attack sussed they do something like this - an Irish folk song!”  [Melody Maker Magazine – February 1992]

3D on how Home Of the Whale was such a big departure from Massive Attack's sound at the time – You can get too eccentric for you own good. Personally, I think 'Home Of The Whale' is predictable because it's unpredictable, because it's us going off at a tangent again, you know what I mean? I think you've got to be careful. Find some way of doing your own thing and evolving. It's not that easy for us because we bring so many ideas to every track. Each track is a complete work in itself for us.”  [Melody Maker Magazine – February 1992]

Caroline on the original version of Home Of The Whale – I heard it years ago in Ireland and loved it immediately. I could fill a whole album with versions I've made of it. I think when there is a really special song you can frame it in so many different ways.”  [MusicalDiscoveries.com - September 2001]

Lyrics

 Front Cover of the Massive Attack EP, released in February 1992 and which featured Home Of the Whale on it.

Front Cover of the Massive Attack EP, released in February 1992 and which featured Home Of the Whale on it.

Oh my love he works upon the sea
On the waves that blow wild and free
He splices the ropes and he sets the sail
While southwards he roams to the home of the whale

And he ne'er thinks of me far behind
Or the torments that rage in my mind
He is mine for only part of the year
Then I'm left all alone with only my tears

All ye ladies that smell of white rose
Thank ye for your perfume to wear on my gold
Thank ye all the wives and the babies that yearn
For the man ne'er returns from hunting the sperm

Oh my love he works upon the sea
On the waves that blow wild and free
He splices the ropes and he sets the sail
While southwards he roams to the home of the whale

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