COME A' YE FISHER LASSIES
Come a' ye fisher lassies, it's
come awa' wi' me,
Fae Cairnbulg and Gamrie and fae
Fae Buckie and fae Aberdeen and
a' the country roon,
We're awa' tae gut the herrin',
we're awa' tae Yarmouth toon.
Rise up in the morning wi' your
bundles in your hand,
Be at the station early or
you'll surely hae to stand,
Tak' plenty to eat and a kettle
for your tea,
Or you'll mebbe die of hunger on
the way to Yarmouth quay.
The journey it's a lang ane and
it tak's a day or twa,
And when you reach your lodgin's
sure it's soond asleep you fa',
But ye rise at five wi' the
sleep still in your e'e,
You're awa' tae find the gutting
yards along frae Yarmouth quay.
It's early in the morning and
it's late into the nicht,
Your hands a' cut and chappit
and they look an unco' sicht,
And you greet like a wean when
you put them in the bree,
And you wish you were a thoosand
mile awa' frae Yarmouth quay.
There's coopers there and curers
there and buyers, canny chiels,
And lassies at the pickling and
others at the creels,
And you'll wish the fish had
been a' left in the sea
By the time you finish guttin'
herrin' on the Yarmouth quay.
We've gutted fish in Lerwick and
in Stornoway and Shields,
Warked along the Humber 'mongst
the barrels and the creels;
Whitby, Grimsby, we've
traivelled up and doon,
But the place to see the herrin'
is the quay at Yarmouth toon.
Footnote : This song was featured in 'Singing The Fishing', one of the
famous radio-ballad series ( 1957-1964 ), made for the BBC by Ewan
MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker. Based on the east coast
herring fishing communities 'Singing The Fishing' was first broadcast on
the BBC Home Service on 16 August 1960. In October 1960 it won the Prix
d'Italia ( the prestigious 'Academy Award' of the day for the radio
medium ) and was eventually transmitted in 86 countries. The eight
radio-ballads were released on CD by Topic ( c1999 ).