Oystershell Road

Words & Music 2003 Mary Garvey

 

This is about oyster "farming" in the tidal estuaries around Willapa Bay, WA, during WWII, when the women had to replace the men who had gone off either to fight or to be put in interment "camps." Mary, bless her, took the time to listen and to tell their story.

 

Gordon 12-string guitar

 

You have to dig oysters when the tide is just right

And sometimes it comes in the dead of the night

The orders came down to extinguish all light

To our homes on the Oystershell Road

 

Now the glow of a lantern could bring an attack

And sometimes we'd sleep in the old oyster shack

And let ourselves down with a rake and a sack

Near our homes on the Oystershell Road

 

Some came from Germany, some from Japan

They lived for the oyster each woman and man

We said, God be with you, return when you can

To your homes on the Oystershell Road

 

For when push comes to shove your mettle shines through

And our hands and our feet somehow knew what to do

With the men gone away we made such a fine crew

From our homes on the Oystershell Road

 

In the sea was the sub, in the air was the plane

And the men had it worse so we couldn't complain

And the neighbors would honk us all home in the rain

To our homes on the Oystershell Road

 

We helped win the war in the mud and the muck

And prayed that our feet would never get stick

When the tide rushes in, you can run out of luck

By your homes on the Oystershell Road

 

Oh, how I remember the dark and the cold

I had hoped that our story would someday be told

But it probably won't 'cause we're getting so old

In our homes on the Oystershell Road.

 

 

Oystershell Road is recorded on the album In Concert