Gordon Bok Gordon Bok 3 23 2010-02-15T15:42:00Z 2010-02-15T15:44:00Z 20 3681 20985 Timberhead 174 41 25771 9.6926 75

Herrings in the Bay

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 (p) ?2003 Timberhead Music

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牋牋牋牋 Fishing was all around us here; we had a richness of it.?Many of my friends (including my brother) have spent some part of their lives in a local fishery.?I've seen some friends walk out of one fishery at forty looking for saner work and some grow old in another, saying that, over the years, they've "done pretty good."?So many stories.

牋牋牋牋 I've seen one fishery after another on two oceans go under, mostly in the name of greed, and there's no need of that.?When we lose a fishery, we lose an independent way of life, of living,?There's shame in that, for all of us.

牋牋牋牋 And the boats go then, of course.?The low, kindly handhaulers with their quiet, converted Chevy engines go first, then the double-ended seineboats and the dories, then the rugged little seiners that would find other work in other seasons.?And now the long, graceful sardine-carriers with their schooner lines are leaving us, one by one.?You'll hear some of their names in one of these pieces.?Each name is a book of people, of stories.

牋牋牋牋 So these songs, from Ireland, the Carolinas, Brazil, Colombia and the Pacific Northwest should give you some different perspectives of a way of life.

 

Note:

My singing often diverges from the original versions; we have printed the original when we could.~ Gordon

 

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 To Jack and Belvea MacDonalad, Isle au Haut, who gave more that the world could ever haul away.?Thank you.

 

Recorder, engineered and mastered by Bruce Boege, Limin Music, Northport, Maine.

Mixed by Bruce Boege, Gordon Bok, and Anne Dodson.

Produced by Gordon Bok and Anne Dodson.

Carvings by Gordon Bok.

Photographs by Chris Pinchbeck.

Programming by Carol Rohl.

Graphic design by Ken Gross.

 

January Men and Then Some:

Gordon Bok, Tony Bok, Will Brown, David Dodson, Ken Gross, Jamie Huntsberger, Cindy Kallet, Bob Richardson, Carol Rohl, Forrest Sherman

 

Quasimodal Chorus:

Marie Weferling, Lynn Travis-Stancioff, Holly Torsey, Matt Szostak, Susan Shaw, Carol Rohl, Bob Richardson, John Pincince, Cindy Kallet, Jamie Huntsberger, Mary Ann Hensel, Ken Gross, Carney Doucette, Anne Dodson, Will Brown, Mimi Bornstein-Doble, Tony Bok, Mary Bok, Gordon Bok

 

Carol Rohl ?harp

 

 

牋牋牋牋牋?Herring Croon?

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋??1965 Gordon Bok, BMI

 

牋牋牋牋 One of my early songs (that I didn't throw back).?I forget what inspired it, but it's still fun to look at the world you think you know through others' eyes.

 

Gordon - laud

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋?

 

牋牋牋 Where do you go, little herring, what do you see, tail and fin?

牋牋牋牋 "Blue and green, cold and dark, seaweed growing high

牋牋牋牋 Hills a hundred fathom deep where the dead men lie

牋牋牋牋 Dogfish eyes and mackerel's eyes and they hunger after me

牋牋牋牋 Net or weir, I don't care, catch me if you can."

 

牋牋牋牋 Where do you go, little boat, tar and timber, plank and sail?

牋牋牋牋 "I go to green bays, lift them under me

牋牋牋牋 Cold, gray, combing seas come to bury me

牋牋牋牋 Rocky jaws and stony claws and they hunger after me

牋牋牋牋 Harbors cold, deep and bold, wish that I could see."

 

牋牋牋牋 What do you see, fisherman, poor old sailor, blood and bone?

牋牋牋牋 "Mackerel skies, mares' tails, reef and furl and steer

牋牋牋牋 Poor haul and hungry days, rotten line and gear

牋牋牋牋 Snow-wind and winter gales and oh, they hunger after me

牋牋牋牋 Net or weir, I don't care, catch you if I can."

 

牋牋牋牋 Where do you go, little herring, what do you see, tail and fin?

牋牋牋牋 "Blue and green, cold and dark, seaweed growing high

牋牋牋牋 Hills a hundred fathom deep where the fisherman lie

牋牋牋牋 Dogfish eyes and mackerel's eyes and oh, they hunger after me

牋牋牋牋 Net or weir, I don't care, catch me if you can."

 

 

牋牋牋牋 New last verse:?(sung on the album Other Eyes)

牋牋牋牋 Where have you gone, little herring, what have you seen, tail and fin?

牋牋牋牋 "Cold and black, dead and dark, homeland torn away

牋牋牋牋 Draggers staving everywhere, drug my garden dry

牋牋牋牋 Pair-trawl, midwinter-trawl; God they hunger after me

牋牋牋牋 Tore my home to hell and gone, there's no more place for me."?

 

 

 

 

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋?Astoria Bar?

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 ?997 Mary Garvey

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 Mary grew up on the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon and knew the (primarily salmon) fisheries along its lower reaches.?A huge body of water comes down a broad estuary near Astoria, creating one of the most dangerous river-mouth bars in the world.?She says "This is just a fisherman put-putting down the river in a small boat on a day when the weather is very beautiful and the river is very blue.?I remember as a child in Astoria seeing these massive quantities of fish going up conveyor belts from the ships and almost being spat out.?The bit about rowing all night from Willapa Bay is straight out of a comment in a newspaper story?some woman said her grandfather had done that.?Sturdy people in these parts?still are; but the Finns were legendary."

 

January Men and Then Some

Gordon ?Spanish guitar

Forrest Sherman ?tin whistle

 

牋牋牋 It's not very far to Astoria's Bar

牋牋牋 But a very long journey it can be

牋牋牋 It can start at the mouth of the mighty blue river

牋牋牋 And end at the bottom of the sea

 

牋牋牋牋牋牋?But the River still shines and shimmers in the light

牋牋牋牋牋牋?As it did in our grandfathers' day

牋牋牋牋牋牋?When they rowed all night and fished in the morning

牋牋牋牋牋牋?And lived in Willapa Bay

 

牋牋牋 When the tide is rough so very, very rough

牋牋牋 So rough that you cannot stand

牋牋牋 It drives the little fish right into the nets

牋牋牋 And boats right into the sand

 

牋牋牋 In the wind and the rain, the labor and the pain

牋牋牋 We know what the fishing here is worth

牋牋牋 It's worth more than gold when they suck 'em from the hold

牋牋牋 It's worth all the treasures of the earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boats of Peter's River

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 ?1995 Mary Garvey

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牋牋牋牋 Mary said "I wrote [this song]when I went back to Peter's River a few years ago.?I had worked on a whale research study there some years ago through the University of Newfoundland, and wanted to see it again.?This was after the collapse of the cod fishery in Newfoundland, and fishermen couldn't even go out and catch a few fish for their families."

牋牋牋牋 She added "The bit about shooting their boats is true.?A really bad storm came up while I was there, and the men did go and shoot their boats to sink them so they would survive the storm."?I dare you to try this at home?GB

牋牋牋牋 Mary Garvey is a Pacific Northwest songwriter with more than 50 songs to her credit.?She currently resides in Washington State.

 

Gordon ?12-string guitar

 

牋牋牋牋 Not a boat in Peter's River or in all St. Mary's Bay

牋牋牋 The fishermen in rubber boots are staying home today

牋牋牋 Hanging out the laundry, hang out in the store

牋牋牋 And the Little Boats of Newfoundland are idle on the shore*

牋牋牋 The men of Peter's River are just barely getting by

牋牋牋 And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky

 

牋牋牋 The wives of Peter's River are taking up the slack

牋牋牋 Fisheries has ended and it's never coming back牋?

牋牋牋 Sell a little knitting, set some broody hens

牋牋牋 No sooner does a hard day end, another one begins

牋牋牋 The wives of Peter's River are too strong to sit and cry

牋牋牋 And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky

 

牋牋牋 The boys of Peter's River are as bright as boys can be

牋牋牋 Their eyes are on the highway instead of on the sea

牋牋牋 Where their fathers went before them is not where they must go?o:p>

牋牋牋 And the fate of Peter's River is not for us to know

牋牋牋牋牋牋?The boys of Peter's River are too young to wonder why

牋牋牋牋牋牋?And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky

 

牋牋牋 The storms of Peter's River have pounded us for years

牋牋牋 Crashing in the harbour and smashing up the piers

牋牋牋 We've ridden out these storms before by shooting at our boats

牋牋牋 But we know this storm is different, - and we cannot stay afloat

牋牋牋牋牋牋?There's no nets in Peter's River laying out to dry

牋牋牋 And the boats of Peter's River have their bottoms to the sky.

 

* "Little Boats of Newfoundland" is the name of a Newfoundland song

?Sir Cavendish Boyle, Ode to Newfoundland:

牋牋牋 As loved our fathers, so we love/Where once they stood we stand

牋牋牋 This prayer we raise to Heaven above:/God guard thee Newfoundland

 

 

O Vento?

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 〥oteval Caymmi

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 I first heard this song in the 1950s, on the West Coast, but didn't learn it until Larry Holland introduced me to the music of Brazilian singer and composer Doreval Caymmi.?Thanks to Prof. Holland for this translation from the Brazilian Portuguese (Northeast dialect).

 

Gordon ?Spanish guitar

 

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Let us go and call the wind

牋牋牋 Vamos, charmer o vento (2)

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Wind that fills the sail

牋牋牋 Vento que da na vela

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋?Sail that lifts the boat

牋牋牋 Vela que leva o barco

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Boat that carries the man

牋牋牋 Barco que leva a gentre

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Man that hauls the fish

牋牋牋 Gentre que leva o peixe

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Fish that brings money

牋牋牋 Peize que da dinheiro

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Curriman ei, curriman lam bai

牋牋牋 (a sound of sorrow)

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Wind that fills the sail

牋牋牋 Vento que da na vela

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Sail that capsizes the boat

牋牋牋 Vento que vira o barco

 

 

 

 

El Pescador (The Fisherman)?

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 ㏄atrocinio Ortiz

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 A Guabina from Columbia

 

Gordon ?12 string guitar

Carol - harp

 

 

Jack Hinks?

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Traditional Newfoundland: Quigley/Apollonio

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牋牋牋牋 Many years back my old shipmate Geordie Jennings brought me a fine little pamphlet of songs.?It was Gerald?S. Doyle's "Old Time Songs of Newfoundland" (Third Edition 1955).?Doyle says?"The author 厀as 'Johnny Quigley', the bard from Erin, as he was wont to be styled by Newfoundlanders in the old days?quot;?The first time I ever sang this for Nick Apollonio, his immediate comment was to sing the "O was ye drunk?quot; lines to another traditional tune.

 

January Men and Then Some

 

牋牋牋牋 Ye muses so kind who are guided by wind

牋牋牋 On the ocean as well as the shore

牋牋牋 Assist a poor bard how to handle his card

牋牋牋 Without ceasing where billows do roar

牋牋牋 Not of cupid he sings, nor of country nor kings

牋牋牋 Nor of any such trifles he thinks

牋牋牋 But of seafaring, sail making, gambling, capering

牋牋牋 Grog-drinking heroes like Hinks

 

牋牋牋 When Jack comes ashore he's got money galore

牋牋牋 For he's seldom cut short of a job

牋牋牋 He can dress as well now as any can tell

牋牋牋 With a good silver watch to his fob

牋牋牋 For Jack in his life was ne'er plagued with a wife

牋牋牋 Though sometimes with the lassies he links

牋牋牋 That seafaring?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 When inclined for to spend he comes in with a friend

牋牋牋 And with pleasure he sets himself down

牋牋牋 And he tips up his glass and he winks at the lass

牋牋牋 And he smiles if she happens to frown

牋牋牋 Like some rattling true-blue when the reckoning is due

牋牋牋 On the table his money he clinks

牋牋牋 That seafaring?o:p>

牋牋牋

牋牋牋 One evening last fall we fell in with a squall

牋牋牋 On the northernmost head of Cape Freels

牋牋牋 We were cast away without further delay

牋牋牋 At the thought, how my spirit it chills

牋牋牋 When cast on the rocks like a hard hunted fox

牋牋牋 Then on death and destruction he thinks

牋牋牋 That seafaring?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 Now Jack without fail was out in that same gale

牋牋牋 Having drove across Bonavist Bay

牋牋牋 Old Neptune did rail as they handed all sail

牋牋牋 And he had his two spars cut away

牋牋牋 But Providence kind who so eases the wind

牋牋牋 And on sailors so constantly thinks

牋牋牋 Saved that seafaring?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 Ah, but death it will come like the sound of a drum

牋牋牋 For to summon poor Jack to his grave

牋牋牋 There's naught he can do, for you all know 'tis true

牋牋牋 'Tis the same for both hero and slave

牋牋牋 And his soul soars aloft, so doleful and soft

牋牋牋 While the bell for the funeral clinks

牋牋牋 Oh peace to that seafaring?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 Nick's comment:

牋牋牋 Oh, was ye drunk or was ye blind

牋牋牋 When ye left your two fine spars behind?

牋牋牋 Or was it stivvering over the sea

牋牋牋 Took the two fine sticks from your decks away?

牋牋牋 To me too rye a, fall the diddle da

牋牋牋 Toorye, oorye, oorye a

 

 

 

 

Oh, No More

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 ??994 Kevin Barry Evans: Modtrad Music SOCAN

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牋牋牋牋 Bernie Houlahan of Moncton, N.B> taught me this poignant song about the death of the Newfoundland fisheries.

牋牋牋牋 Over the years, ears and miles, mu version has wandered quite a bit.?After I had recorded the song my way, Kevin, whom I had met years ago in New England, sent us the original words which we print here for your confusion.

 

Gordon - viol

 

牋牋牋 Years ago when I was young

牋牋牋牋 I cast my nets into the sun

牋牋牋 And with my father's hands upon my shoulder

牋牋牋 Hauled them home

牋牋牋 The nets moved like a living thing

牋牋牋 All from the codfish held within

牋牋牋 And homeward bound we'd laugh and sing

牋牋牋 An honest man's work done

牋牋牋 We'd throw our fortunes to the wind

牋牋牋 But now we'll just remember when

 

牋牋牋 (There were) lots of fish in Bonavist Harbour

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 Lots of fishing in around here

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 We'd throw our fortunes to the wind

牋牋牋 Me boys we'll not do that again

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋

牋牋牋 The sea had turned my father's eyes

牋牋牋 A blue much deeper than the skies

牋牋牋 That granted us our daily prize

牋牋牋 King Cod, in all his glory

牋牋牋 And like my father I grew strong

牋牋牋 And proud I was to carry on

牋牋牋 For in his footsteps I belonged

牋牋牋 Ah, but that's another story

牋牋牋 For times change faster than the wind

牋牋牋 And now we just remember when

 

牋牋牋 Jack was every inch a sailor

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 Four and twenty years a whaler

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 For times change faster than the wind

牋牋牋 Me boys we won't fish here again

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

 

牋牋牋 My father's eyes are still as blue

牋牋牋 But his hands are softer than I knew

牋牋牋 There's nothing much for him to do

牋牋牋 But smoke and drink and remember

牋牋牋 And every day I sit and face

牋牋牋 The spectre of my father's face

牋牋牋 Dying at an icebound pace

牋牋牋 His heart and soul, December

牋牋牋 He'd give his life to ride the wind

牋牋牋 Instead we just remember when

 

牋牋牋 Lukey's boat was painted green

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 Finest boat you've ever seen

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 I was the boy who built the boats

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 I was the boy who sailed them

牋牋牋 Oh, no more

牋牋牋 I'd give my life to ride the wind

牋牋牋 And to be fishing once again

牋牋牋 Oh, no more, Oh, no more,

牋牋牋牋牋牋?Oh, no more?

 

 

 

Hush Song

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Words ?1924 Elizabeth Shane

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Music ?1980 Gordon Bok

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牋牋牋牋 Alouette Iselin sent me these words years ago: they seemed to beg to be sung, so I made this tune.

 

Gordon ?12-string guitar

Carol - harp

 

牋牋牋牋 Och, hush ye then, och hush ye

牋牋牋 There's herrin's in the bay

牋牋牋 An' you'll be the wee fisherman

牋牋牋 Someday - someday

 

牋牋牋 Och, rest ye then, och rest ye

牋牋牋 The herrin's do be small

牋牋牋 An' you're the boy when you'll be big

牋牋牋 Will catch them all

牋牋牋

牋牋牋 Och, hush ye then, och hush ye

牋牋牋 The night is dark an' wet

牋牋牋 An' you too wee, o heart o' mine

牋牋牋 For fishin' yet

 

牋牋牋 Och, hush ye then, och hush ye

牋牋牋 'Tis cowld upon the sea

牋牋牋 But this wee house is warm itself

牋牋牋 For you an' me

 

牋牋牋 Och, sleep ye now, och sleep ye

牋牋牋 For sure a night will come

牋牋牋 When you'll be wakin' on the sea

牋牋牋 An' me at home

 

 

The Candlelight Fisherman

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Traditional English

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 I learned this from old Eric Ilot, "The Bristol Chanteyman" who graced our town for a few weeks some winters ago.?It was also collected by Bob Roberts.

牋牋牋牋 This old codger had a good dodge when he didn't want to go fishing; he's talking about a candle-lantern, a four-sided glass box with a candle in it, one side of which opens like a door.?If you want the candle to keep burning, you keep the door (pane) closed.

 

Gordon ?Spanish guitar

 

牋牋牋牋 Now me Dad was a fisherman bold

牋牋牋 And he lived till he grew old

牋牋牋 'Cause he'd open the pane and pop out the flame

牋牋牋 Just to see how the winds do blow.

 

牋牋牋 Now me Dad he says to me

牋牋牋 If you're ever going to go to sea

牋牋牋 Do you open the pane and pop out the flame

牋牋牋 Just to see how the winds do blow.

 

牋牋牋 Now when the cold North wind do blow

牋牋牋 Then it's we lie snug below

牋牋牋 'Cause we open the pane?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 When the wind comes up from the East

牋牋牋 It isn't fit for man nor beast

牋牋牋 Still I open the pane?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 When the wind comes up from the West

牋牋牋 She's going to blowup rough at best

牋牋牋 So I open the pane?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 But when the South wind soft do blow

牋牋牋 Well there ain't enough wind to go

牋牋牋 Still, I open the pane?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 When me wife she says to me

牋牋牋 We'll starve if you don't go

牋牋牋 Well, I open the pane?o:p>

牋牋牋 So if you'd be a fisherman bold

牋牋牋 And you'd live till you grow old

牋牋牋 Do you open the pane?o:p>

 

 

 

Help Me to Raise 'Em

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Traditional United States

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 I head this first from the Menhaden Chanteymen of Beaufort, N.C. with whom I once had the pleasure of singing in Norfolk, VA.?This is a different version, from the Northern Neck Chantey Singers of VA.

牋牋牋牋 The ship sends two motorized net-boats out, with crew, to surround the fish with the net, the captain running one, the mate running the other.?When they've closed the purse, they?haul the fish up to the surface by hand with some help from the donkey engine on the main boat.?Slow, hard work, some days.

 

January Men and Then Some

 

牋牋牋牋 Will you help me to raise 'em boys,

牋牋牋 Oh honey

牋牋牋 Will you help me to raise 'em boys,

牋牋牋 Oh honey

牋牋牋 Will you help me to raise 'em boys,

牋牋牋 see her when the sun goes down

牋牋牋牋牋牋?

牋牋牋 All the weights on the mate boat

 

牋牋牋 I got a long tall yellow gal

 

牋牋牋 Her name is Evalina, boys

 

牋牋牋 All the weight's on the captain boat

 

牋牋牋 All the weight's on the donkey man

 

 

Round Our Skiff

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Text: Traditional Hebrides

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Music: ?1984 Kathy Wonson Eddy

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 Kathy kindly sent me this song among many others a few years ago: she is a great source of liturgical choral music.?I have sung it with our chorus and another smaller group, but Carol and I wanted to keep it in our repertoire, so here's a third way to sing it.?Kathy lives in Randolph, Vermont.

 

Gordon ?viol

Carol - harp

 

牋牋牋牋 Round our skiff's be God's aboutness

牋牋牋 Ere she try the deeps of sea

 

牋牋牋 Sea-shell frail for all her stoutness

牋牋牋 Unless Thou her helmsman be

 

 

 

Cannery Shed (Stella)

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 ?1992 Mary Garvey

牋牋牋牋

牋牋牋牋 Another of Mary's Columbia River songs.?This is a good song to sing on the Maine coast where many of us still remember the sardine packing plants here.?Quite a few of my school friends had summer jobs in those plants.?

牋牋牋牋 Mary says "Stella is a beautiful little town on the lower Columbia.?The whole town was on piers when I was growing up."

 

Carol Rohl and January Men and Then Some ?vocals

David Dodson ?acoustic bass guitar

 

牋牋牋牋 I've worked all my life in the cannery shed

牋牋牋 And if I am dying or you think I am dead

牋牋牋 Don't bury my bones but put me instead

牋牋牋 In a can in the cannery shed

 

牋牋牋 The cannery shed perches over the river

牋牋牋 When the winter winds blow we freeze and we shiver

牋牋牋 When the boss comes around I just might have to give her

牋牋牋 My opinion of the cannery shed

 

牋牋牋 There's no time to rest and there's no time to linger

牋牋牋 And you'd better move sharp or you might lose a finger

牋牋牋 It's make you stomach turn if you knew everything here's

牋牋牋 Been canned in the cannery shed

 

牋牋牋 We chop off the heads and chop off the tails

牋牋牋 Scoop out the guts and throw them in the pails

牋牋牋 We won't get a rest till the next schooner sails

牋牋牋 From the dock at the cannery sheds

牋牋牋

牋牋牋 LaFaye he went away and he wrote me a letter

牋牋牋 I tucked it up high in the sleeve of my sweater

牋牋牋 And it slipped and it fell and ended in the shredder

牋牋牋 And got canned in the cannery shed

 

牋牋牋 The cannery boy he's a very happy fella

牋牋牋 If he gets him a girl from the little town of Stella

牋牋牋 I would if I could but I'm not going to tell ya

牋牋牋 What goes on behind the cannery shed

 

 

Trochus Boats

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Lyrics: Bill Scott/ Music: Roger Ilott ?1999

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Restless Music APRA/AMCOS

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牋牋牋牋 Bill lives in Warwick, Queensland, Australia, these days.?This is from one of his other eight lives.?He says "When working aboard the Commonwealth lighthouse vessel, Cape Leeuwin, in the early fifties, we often saw some of the pearling fleet anchored among the reefs of the Barrier where they harvested trochus shell.?The sound of the crews' voices in song drifting across the twilit still waters haunts me still with its beauty."

 

Gordon ?12-string guitar

Quasimodal Chorus - vocals

 

牋牋牋牋 I am living dry and placid now among encircling mountains,

牋牋牋 An old man still remembering the days that used to be,

牋牋牋 But I close my eyes and live again those days of sweat and laughter,

牋牋牋 When we worked the trochus luggers* in the western Coral Sea.

 

牋牋牋 Sailing in a black hulled lugger with a lookout at the masthead,

牋牋牋 You may drift along the coral cays and anchor where you please,

牋牋牋 In the glassy leeside waters of some rocky offshore island,

牋牋牋 Though the outer reef be trembling under pounding whitened seas.

 

牋牋牋 Chorus:

牋牋牋 Laddie oh?Laddie ay, Laddie oh?Laddie ay. (2x)

 

牋牋牋 You may anchor calm and safely in the shallows over coral,

牋牋牋 Where the waters glimmer peacock in a hundred shifting shades,

牋牋牋 You can hear the rippling wavelets tinkle gently on the beaches,

牋牋牋 And the stays and braces strumming in the southeast trades.

 

牋牋牋 Chorus?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 To the north of Lizard Island and to the south of Iron Range,

牋牋牋 In my dreams I am returning to the place where I would be,

牋牋牋 To the laughing Torres Straitsmen singing softly in the twilight,

牋牋牋 To the trochus lugger's anchorage in Princess Charlotte Bay.

 

牋牋牋 Chorus?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 *Trochus is a large mollusk,?Perhaps the boast were once lug rigged, but I've seen pictures of ketches, and Bill says he's seen motor boats called luggers.

 

 

Where is the Light/Memory for Seal Island

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 ?1986 Elmer Beal/ ?1980 Gordon Bok

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牋牋牋牋 Seal is a long, narrow island on the outskirts of Penobscot Bay.?We anchored there one day in the sardine carrier Ida Mae, waiting for dark when the herring would rise again.?Cleon took a nap and Frank and I went ashore and wandered around the island, ducking seabirds, cooking up a mess of periwinkles over a driftwood fire on the beach and dozing in the sun.?It was a grand, high, blue day, and the sea was very quiet.

牋牋牋牋 A couple of years later (1978) the whole island was burned, destroying hundreds of seabirds and their habitat.?A while later Elmer and I were on tour together, and he taught me his tune "Where is the Light" and I always associated it with that feeling of loss about the island.?But it was the memory of that day that gave me my tune.

 

Gordon ?Spanish guitar

 

 

 

One More Morning (Memoir/Oratorio)

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 ?Gordon Bok

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牋牋牋牋 This piece is my attempt to remember of picture a single night of purse-seining for herring off the Maine Coast around (say) 1970.

牋牋牋牋 It begins in the afternoon when the fisherman has finished his 'day job' and is looking at a full night of chasing herring, through to the daylight, when the sardine-carriers are hauling the catch off to the cannery, and he can sort out his gear and go home.

牋牋牋牋 It is mostly conversations.?Some I've heard on fishing boats, some on marine radio, some over beers ashore and some imaginary, trying to get into the heads of those whose skill at finding and catching these spooky fish is truly uncanny.

 

January Men and Then Some

 

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牋牋牋 I

牋牋牋 Now give me strength at the end of the day

牋牋牋 out on the deep

牋牋牋 O give me strength to go back on the water

牋牋牋 down in the dark of the moon

牋牋牋 Out on the deep, out on the deep

牋牋牋 Out on the wild old ocean

 

牋牋牋 O give me fishes to soothe my sorrows

牋牋牋 out on the deep

牋牋牋 O give me darkness to soothe my herring

牋牋牋 down in the dark of the moon

牋牋牋 Out on the deep, out on the deep

牋牋牋 Out on the wild old ocean

 

牋牋牋 For there's snow, lord, there's snow on the wind

牋牋牋 out on the deep

牋牋牋 Snow on the wind before morning

牋牋牋 down in the haul of the tide

牋牋牋 Out on the deep, out on the deep

牋牋牋 Out on the wild old ocean

 

牋牋牋 And there's wind, lore, there's wind before morning

牋牋牋 out on the deep

牋牋牋 Wind on the cold tide coming

牋牋牋 down in the haul of the tide

牋牋牋 Out on the deep, out on the deep

牋牋牋 Out on the wild old ocean

 

牋牋牋 O give us one more morning

牋牋牋 Then will we lay this season down

 

牋牋牋 II

牋牋牋 Somewhere out there I know they're traveling

牋牋牋 bring them to me

牋牋牋 Somewhere out there I know they're rising

牋牋牋 bring them to me

牋牋牋 Somewhere out there I feel them gathering

牋牋牋 bring them to me

牋牋牋 Oh, boys ?easy!?easy

 

牋牋牋 Haul out your rings now easy

牋牋牋 Roll them out easy easy

牋牋牋 Come on around them easy

牋牋牋 Circle all round them easy

 

牋牋牋 III

牋牋牋 Come on your purseline?bring them to me

牋牋牋 Bring them along now?bring them to me

牋牋牋 Bring'em all of 'em home?bring them to me

牋牋牋 Ah ?come on a risingfire below boys

牋牋牋 Coming on silverfire below

牋牋牋 Come on a movingfire below

牋牋牋 Come on a heavinglight the deep (hold 'em)

牋牋牋 O set out the light nowset out the light

牋牋牋 Fire up the oceanlight up the deep!

 

牋牋牋 IV

牋牋牋 Now, call on the carriers?come on the twine

牋牋牋 All you little ones, big ones?come on the twine

牋牋牋 O but come on her easy come on the twine

牋牋牋 O come on, Amanda come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Edward come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Grayling?come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Ida, come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Jacob,?come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Maryanne?come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Muriel?come on the twine

 

牋牋牋 O come on, Amanda?call on the boats now

牋牋牋 come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Edward?come 'round the islands

牋牋牋 come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Grayling?O mind all the hardware

牋牋牋 come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Ida?come take up your corkline

牋牋牋 come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Jacob?O come on her easy

牋牋牋 come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Maryanne?come lay out your hoses

牋牋牋 come on the twine

牋牋牋 Come on her, Muriel?I got a thousand hogshead!

牋牋牋 come on the twine

 

牋牋牋 V

牋牋牋 Now their salt is all down and their hoses are in

牋牋牋 And their baskets are full and their hatches are on

牋牋牋 So they let go the twine and they kick themselves clear

牋牋牋 And they slide up the bay and they're headed for hom

牋牋牋 So we clear up the gear and we sort out the twine

牋牋牋 And we string out the boats and we head for the barn

牋牋牋 And it's home, home, home?o:p>

 

牋牋牋 VI

牋牋牋 O hey, she's making day!

 

牋牋牋 VII

牋牋牋 Somewhere out there I know they're traveling

牋牋牋 bring them to me

牋牋牋 Somewhere out there I know they're rising

牋牋牋 bring them to me

牋牋牋 Somewhere out there I feel them gathering

牋牋牋 bring them to me?O

 

牋牋牋 O give me one night's hauling

牋牋牋 out on the deep

牋牋牋 O let me see them rising

牋牋牋 down in the cold dark sea

牋牋牋 Out on the deep out on the deep

牋牋牋 Out on the wild old ocean

 

牋牋牋 O give us one more morning

牋牋牋 Then will we lay this season down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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