Saturday, July 16, 2005

Shoals of Herring
(Ewan MacColl)

With our nets and gear we're faring
On the wild and wasteful ocean.
Its there in the deep that we harvest and reap
As we hunt the bonnie shoals of herring

It was a fine and a pleasant summer's day
Out of Yarmouth harbor I was faring
As a cabin boy on a sailing lugger
For to go and hunt the shoals of herring

O the work was hard and the hours were long
And the treatment, sure it took some bearing
There was little kindness and the kicks were many
As we hunted for the shoals of herring

O we fished the Swarth and the Broken Bank
I was cook and I'd a quarter sharing
And I used to sleep standing on my feet
And I'd dream about the shoals of herring

O we left the homegrounds in the month of June
And to Canny Shiels we soon were bearing
With a hundred cran of the silver darlings
That we'd taken from the shoals of herring

Now you're up on deck, you're a fisherman
You can swear and show a manly bearing
Take your turn on deck with the other fellows
While you're searching for the shoals of herring

In the stormy seas and the living gales
Just to earn your daily bread you're daring
From the Dover Straits to the Faroe Islands
As you're following the shoals of herring

O I earned my keep and I paid my way
And I earned the gear that I was wearing
Sailed a million miles, caught ten million fishes
We were sailing after shoals of herring

Night and day we're faring
Wi' the winter winds and winter gales
Cauld and sweat, growing up, growing old, and dying
As we hunt the bonnie shoals of herring

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