#03045
The Old Fisherman's Song (Wayne S Morgan)
video
#1657: YouTube video by NLTreasure
©2011 ~ Used with permission ~

The old man he sits by the ocean,
And gazes out over the bay;
His mind's on that make-and-break engine
In a boat that sits rotting away.

That old trap skiff was once his whole lifeline,
And his means of feeding his own;
But today things are so very different,
As he gazes out over the cove.

On the stage head there's that old splittin' table,
Where he once split those big ol' cod-fish;
There was lots of salt fish for the winter,
And a stageful, what more could he wish.

As he looks back over his shoulder,
And stares at that old wooden flake,
In his heart he often goes back there,
Where he spread those salt fish for to make.

As the sun slowly sets in the harbour,
It casts a faint glow on the bay;
As he sits on the stage head, reflecting,
A lifetime of fishing each day.

His sons are now gone to Alberta,
The fishery they knew now is gone;
Our young men can't see any future,
And he longs for a new day to dawn.

The plant is now full of old workers,
There's no young ones to follow behind;
They're headin' out west to Alberta,
The fishery the last thing on their mind.

Now he loves to sit there and ponder,
That old trap skiff out riding the swell;
And if you sit by his side he will tell you,
Some old stories he still loves to tell.

Now the cod-fish is slowly returning,
And the Grand Banks are breathing new life;
How our folks have renewed optimism,
It's in these things he finally sees light.

So let's all put our heads back together,
To pray for a new day to dawn;
So we all can get back on the water,
And bring life to this fisherman's song.

Now this song is finally ending,
'Bout that old skipper man we all know;
'Cause he's in every cove on this island,
In your mind's eye he's someone you know.

####.... Wayne S Morgan ....####
This original song was written and recorded by Wayne S Morgan, the singing fisherman of Port de Grave, NL (Pops Little Man, trk#7, 2011, recorded and mixed by Kevin Collins at Sawyer Hill Productions, Placentia, NL, published and distributed by Wayne S Morgan).

See more songs by Wayne S Morgan.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Flake - platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying cod-fish on the foreshore.
Salt Fish - cod-fish, split, salted and dried.
Splitting Table - table in a fishing stage where cod or salmon are processed before salting and drying.
Stage - elevated platform on the shore with working tables, sheds, etc, where fish are landed and processed for salting and drying, and fishing gear and supplies are stored; fishing stage.
Stage Head - end of a fishing stage which extends over the water where fish is landed.
Trap Skiff - large undecked fishing boat, propelled by oar, small sail or engine and used in the coastal fishery to set and haul nets, especially cod traps.

Note: Make-and-break - popular and enduring marine engine in use since the early 20th-century. It could withstand getting wet and could be repaired with a coat hanger and a pair of pliers.



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