HERRING CROON – The Last Verse
©2009 Gordon Bok, BMI
Gordon – 12-string “Bell” guitar
You can hear the original song (which I wrote in1965) on “Herrings in the Bay” –
Some fishermen I know have said that the last time the herring fishery was sustainable was when we were weir-seining, the way we learned from the Native Americans. Some still fish that way in the Canadian Maritimes.
“Now those big corporation-boats are midwater-fishing, even in the spawning grounds: we never did that. When we were fishing herring, they stood half a chance.” – Frank Wiley, Maine fisherman.
“If a storm breaks off a stem of kelp, it’ll be growing back in seven days. Do you know what the bottom looks like after half a ton of otter trawl has gone over it? If it’s rock, it’s polished bare. If it’s sand or mud, it looks like the moon. That’s no habitat for any species.” – Gary Cook, New Brunswick fisherman.
Where have you gone, little herring?
What have you seen, tail and fin?
Cold and black, dead and dark, bottom torn away
Draggers staving everywhere, drug this garden dry
Pair trawl, mid-water trawl :
(God, they hungered 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 (original version on these albums) and Other Eyes (new last verse only) and is in the songbook Time and the Flying Snow