The Shoals of Herring

With our nets and gear we're farin'
On 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 herrin'

Oh, it was a fine and a pleasant day
Out of Yarmouth harbour I was farin'
As a cabinboy on a sailing lugger
For to go and hunt the shoals of herrin'

Oh, the work was hard and the hours were long
And the treatment, sure it took some bearin'
There was little kindness and the kicks were many
As we hunted for the shoals of herrin'

Oh, we fished the Swarth and the Broken Bank
I was cook and I'd a quarter sharin'
And I used to sleep standin' on me feet
And I'd dream about the shoals of herrin'

Well, we left the homegrounds in the month of June
And to Canny Shiels we soon was bearin'
With a hundred cran of the silver darlin's
That we'd taken from the shoals of herrin'

Now your up on deck, you're a fisherman
You can swear and show a manly bearin'
Take your turn on watch with the other fellows
While you're followin' for the shoals of herrin'

In the stormy seas and the livin' gales
Just to earn your daily bread you're darin'
From the Dover Straits to the Faroe Islands
While you're followin' the shoals of herrin'

Well, I earned me keep and I paid me way
And I earned the gear I was wearin'
Sailed a million miles, caught ten million fishes
We was followin' the shoals of herrin'

© Stormking Music, Inc. Performed and written by Ewan MacColl.