The Whale's Back

by Mind of a Snail

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This is an educational shadow theatre piece about the journey of a mother gray whale and her calf. We tell a story about the yearly migration of the gray whales from the warm lagoons of Mexico, all the way up the coast to Alaska. We meet some musical hitchikers on the the back of the mother whale – a crew of beatboxing barnacles and “the Cyamid Kid,” a rapping whale louse who keeps us updated on the progress of the two whales.

Created for the Pacific Rim Whale Festival in Tofino/Ucluelet 2012


released March 3, 2012

Chloe Ziner played, composed and recorded all the instruments heard here.
Jessica Gabriel wrote the words.



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Mind of a Snail Vancouver, British Columbia

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Track Name: The Whale's Back
Whale whale whale
Where we at?
Whale whale whale
We're on a whale's back!

I'm the Cyamid Kid
A whale louse
I live here
the whale is my house
It's also my food
and I keep her clean
I feast on dead skin while she
uses her baleen
Together we live with
Barney and the Crusts
Holdin' it down
the way barnacles must

The Whale is a bus for us!

Gray whale gave birth a couple months ago
In this Mexican lagoon baby's been allowed to grow
Strong and ready for ten thousand kilometer trek
specific to the Westcoast of the Pacific

We're headin' north along the coast
Returning to where the food is the most
abundant and fresh in Alaskan Waters
Ripe feeding grounds for Gray and her daughter

Navigating by the stars, sounds, senses and soon
We're leaving this lagoon by the light of the full moon

Whale whale whale where we at?
Whale whale whale we're on a whale's back!

There are many dangers along the way!
Ocean's a busy place
A surprise in every bay
But Gray and baby are strong and smart
They stay close to the shore cause they must avoid the Orcas

Whale whale whale, where we at?
Whale whale whale, we're on a whale's back!

Imagine that!
We've reached the top of the map!
We held on tight for many days and nights
Now mama and baby are going to feed
They're gonna get the nutrients that they need
to do it all again
to do it all again
round trip
round trip

The Whale is a bus for us!