#00030
The Fisherman's Alphabet (Chris Cobb) score

sheet music

"A" for abundance, this we all need,
"B" for our boats o'er the water do speed,
"C" stands for caplin and codfish likewise,
"D" is for dawn, the time we all rise.

So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No mortals on earth are like fishers at sea;
Blow high or blow low, we're jogging along,
Give us a fair cull and there's nothing goes wrong.

"E" for our engines, on them we rely,
"F" for the freezer, our bait there we buy,
"G" stands for grapnel, five hooks and a ring,
"H" is for herring, the first bait in spring.

So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No mortals on earth are like fishers at sea;
Blow high or blow low, we're jogging along,
Give us a fair cull and there's nothing goes wrong.

"I" for the inspector, he turns down all slime,
"J" stands for jigger we have on our line,
"K" stands for killick, wood, rock, and nails,
"L" is for luff we have in the sails.

So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No mortals on earth are like fishers at sea;
Blow high or blow low, we're jogging along,
Give us a fair cull and there's nothing goes wrong.

"M" stands for mackerel, and meshes, and mast,
"N" is for nails, this keeps the planks fast,
"O" stands for oakum, and "P" for the prong,
It's a sharp-pointed steel in a handle so long.

So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No mortals on earth are like fishers at sea;
Blow high or blow low, we're jogging along,
Give us a fair cull and there's nothing goes wrong.

"Q" is for quintals, and "R" for the rise,
"S" for the steamer that brings our supplies,
"T" stands for tom-cod, the tide they do stem,
"U" is for under, and "V" stands for vim.

So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No mortals on earth are like fishers at sea;
Blow high or blow low, we're jogging along,
Give us a fair cull and there's nothing goes wrong.

"W" is for whales we often hear blow,
We have "X" on the gang-boards to keep them just so,
"Y" is for yanking, a jerk and a twist,
And "Z" is zephyr, the wind we like best.

So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No mortals on earth are like fishers at sea;
Blow high or blow low, we're jogging along,
Give us a fair cull and there's nothing goes wrong.

####.... Christopher Theodore (Chris) Cobb [1897-1968] of Barr'd Islands, Fogo, NL ....####
Collected in 1952 by Kenneth Peacock from the composer Chris Cobb of Barred Island, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.125-126, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that with sailors' and lumbermen's alphabet songs already well known, it was not surprising that a talented composer like Chris Cobb should turn his hand to a fishermen's version.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Caplin - a small, iridescent deep-water fish (Mallotus villosus) like a smelt which, followed by the cod, appears inshore during June and July to spawn along the beaches, and is netted for bait, for manuring the fields, or dried, salted, smoked, or frozen for eating.
Cull - of dried and salted cod-fish, herring, etc., the act of sorting, or the product of sorting, into grades; the criteria by which fish are sorted; the grades into which fish are divided.
Killick - anchor made up of an elongated stone encased in pliable sticks bound at the top and fixed in two curved cross-pieces, used in mooring nets and small boats.
Quintal - a hundredweight (112 pounds); a measure of cod-fish caught by fishermen.

From the TerraX Glossary of Boating Terms:
Luff - ¹the edge of a sail toward the bow of a boat. ²term used to describe that edge when the airflow around it stalls.
Luffing - a description of a flapping motion along the luff (leading edge) of a sail. A sail begins to luff when the air flow stalls when traveling across the sail. Luffing is a sign that the sail is not properly trimmed or that the boat is trying to sail too close to the eye of the wind (pinching).



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