Wi' our nets and gear we're farin'
On the wild and wistful ocean
It's there on the deep that we harvest and reap oor nets
As we hunt the bonny shoals o' herrin'
T'was a fine and a pleasant summer's day
Outta Yarmouth harbour I was faring
As a cabin boy on a sailing lugger
We were off to hunt the shoals o' herrin'
Now the work was hard and the hours were long
And the treatment surely took some bearin'
There was little kindness and the kicks were many
As we hunted for the shoals o' herrin'
Now we fished the Swarth and the Broken Bank
I was cook and I'd a quarter's sharin'
And I used to sleep standin' on my feet
And I'd dream about the shoals o' herrin'
Well we left the home ground in the month of June
And for canny Shiels we were bearin'
Wi' a hundred cran of the silver darlin's
That we'd taken from the shoals o' herrin'
Through the stormy seas and the living gale
Just to earn your daily bread you're darin'
From the Dover straits to the Faroe Islands
As you're following the shoals of herrin'
Now you're up on deck, you're a fisherman
You can swear and show a manly bearin'
Take you turn on deck wi' the other fellows
As you're following the shoal's o' herrin'
Night and day we're farin'
Come winter wind or winter gale
Sweat or cold, growing up, growing old and dying
As you hunt the bonny shoals o' herrin'