H.M.S. Rose off Ferryland, August 1995. Printed from shanty.rendance.org Site contents © 1993-2009 Andrew Draskóy excepting product images and lyrics.
Shoals of Herring - Ewan McColl

With our nets and gear we're faring
On the wild and wasteful ocean
It's there on the deep that we harvest and reap our bread
As we hunt the bonny shoals of herring

Oh, it was a fine and a pleasant day
Out of Yarmouth harbour I was faring
As a cabin boy on a sailing lugger
For to go and hunt the shoals of herring

Now 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

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

Well, we left the home grounds in the month of June
And to canny Shiels we soon was bearing
With a hundred cran of the silver darlings
That we'ed 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 you turn on watch with the other fellows
While you're following the shoals of herring

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

Well, I earned me cape and I paid me way
And I earned the gear that I was wearing
Sailed a million miles, caught ten million fishes
We was following the shoals of herring