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Shoals of Herring


courtesy of

With our nets and gear we’re faring

Over the wild and wasteful ocean

It’s there on the deep that we harvest and reap our bread

As we hunt the bonny shoals of herring

It was on a fine and a pleasant day

Out of Yarmouth harbour I was faring

As a cabin boy on a sailing lugger

For to go and hunt the shoals of herring

Now the work was hard and the hours were long

And the treatment sure it took some bearing

Her was little kindness and the kicks were many

As we hunted for the shoals of herring

Oh we fished the Swarth and the Dogger Bank

I was cook and I’d a quarter-sharing

And I used to sleep standing on me feet

And I’d dream about the shoals of herring

Oh! We left the home grounds in the month of June

And for canny Shiels we soon were bearing

With a hundred cran of the silver darling

That we’d taken from the shoals of herring

Now you’re up on deck you’re a fisherman

You can swear and show a manly bearing

Take your turn on watch with the other fellows

 While you’re searching for shoals of herring

In the stormy seas and the living gale

Just to earn your daily bread you’re daring

From the Dover Straits to the Faeroe Islands

As you’re following the shoals of herring

Oh I earned my keep and I paid me way

And I earned the gear that I was wearing

Sailed a million miles, caught ten million fishes

We were sailing after shoals of herring

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.