Little River

Lyrics 1975 Ruth Moore

Music 1986 Gordon Bok

Ruth has written the definitive novels of the Maine coast as it was when I was growing up here. One day she handed me this poem, claiming it wanted a tune. This young fellow, most likely a lobsterman, is listening to the buoy off Cutler Harbor, but now it is above him, and he has just figured out that he's drowning.

 

Gordon 12-string guitar

 

Little River lighted whistle, cry no more

Sleepy sound from the breakers calling me back to shore

Whistle it soft to the silver river

Whistle it loud to the drumming sea

Whistle it low to the moon and morning

Not to me, never to me.

 

For I'm swinging high in another country, swinging low

Rolling it easy and the dolphins follow me where I go

 

Whistle it loud to the flood tide making

Whistle it soft to the wheeling sun

Whistle it wild to my girl's heart breaking

She'll remember; she was the one

 

Spring comes warm over Little River, storm comes black

I was headed home when the Indian Giver took me back'

 

Whistle it high to the graybeard breakers

Where the secret over the great shoals ran

Whistle the world that was in my pocket

When I had pockets, when I was a man

 

repeat # 1

 

Little River is recorded on the albums Bay of Fundy, Herrings in the Bay, and is also in the songbook Time and the Flying Snow