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Hardy Fishers of Girvan

Lyrics composed by John Henderson on the 22nd of March, 2013,
to James Stanley Hamilton's tune called 'Mary Hamilton Of Auchincruive'.

Night after night, when conditions are deemed right,
Small boats with hopes surge-off ocean bound
Where the deep may hold shoals of fish both young and old
For men braving each wave's angry pound.
All night long, cold and alert by a net
These hardy fishers seek a silv'ry sign;
With nought to be heard 'cept faint shivers down each spine,
They await what fate may bring their brine.

Oft fortune smiles, and all nets are cast and filled,
Then hoisted in with much up and go;
It's a heart'ning sight with the coming of first light
To behold squirming heaps down below.
Soon they've turned, churning low knots homeward bound
As weary crewmen take a well-earned rest;
But weary or not, they take coffee piping hot
With lots bacon baps that cook had bought!

The tide is high, and o'erhead are seagulls' cries,
As ev'ryone unloads, 'neath dawn skies;
And each slight glint of their catch that's worth a mint
Warms crew chilled from the night's tiring stint;
Soon each box, full and well stacked on the pier
Will greet the gutting knives of skilful wives,
Who'll slice as they sing, and make all the rafters ring
With their praise for those who'd risked their lives.

Return to John's Poetry Page


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