Herring Croon

1965 Gordon Bok, BMI

 

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

 

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

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

Hills a hundred fathom deep where the dead men lie

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

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

 

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

"I go to green bays, lift them under me

Cold, gray, combing seas come to bury me

Rocky jaws and stony claws and they hunger after me

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

 

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

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

Poor haul and hungry days, rotten line and gear

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

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

 

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

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

Hills a hundred fathom deep where the fisherman lie

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Draggers staving everywhere, drug my garden dry

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

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

 

Herring Croon is recorded on the albums Clear Away in the Morning, Herrings in the Bay, Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal, and Other Eyes (last verse only), Then and Now, and is also in the songbook Time and the Flying Snow