Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Columbia

Home Main Menu Folk Song Lyrics A B1 B2 B3 B4 C1 C2 C3
D1 D2 E F G H I J K L1 L2 M N O P Q R S1 S2 S3 S4 T U V W1 W2 XYZ Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB


The Columbia

The Columbia
(Fred Starner)

Columbia was built of stout oak and good pine
She was launched with a cheer and a cup of good wine
Her canvas was graceful and stitched extra-strong
It seemed that her builders could do her no wrong

The crews of Columbia worked hard with hand-line
And the dories were hoisted and the fish packed in brine
She raced with the Bluenose, the pride of the fleet
She showed them her stern on the windward beat

   And it's haul on the lines, it's a wrenching ache
   You pull your muscles till the cords seem to break
   And it's a-a-all on the sea

Out fishing in August, the twenty-first day
She went down in the gale; how, no one can say
Old Wharton must have done all a captain can do
But he went to the bottom with all of his crew

Not many months later, on the first of the year
A modern stern-dragger was a-working her gear
A-dragging the bottom with nets strong as steel
All hands felt a tremor which shivered her keel

   And it's haul on the lines, it's a wrenching ache
   You pull your muscles till the cords seem to break
   And it's a-a-all on the sea

From the waters off Sable came a terrible sight
The hull of a schooner rose in the spotlight
Shorn of her rigging, her gaffs, and all stale
The hull of Columbia rose ghostly and pale

And then with a shudder and a yaw the nets broke
But the hull of the schooner could not stay afloat
Columbia sank back to her watery grave
But the souls of her crewmen in memory were saved

   And it's haul on the lines, it's a wrenching ache
   You pull your muscles till the cords seem to break
   And it's a-a-all on the sea

So ended their work on that cold winter's night
When a modern stern-dragger found Columbia's death-site
And I know that old Gloucester is changing fast
But she'll never forget her brave sons of the past

   And it's haul on the lines, it's a wrenching ache
   You pull your muscles till the cords seem to break
   And it's a-a-all on the sea
   And it's a-a-all on the sea

JN
Download the song in PDF format for printout etc. Download the song in RTF format for editing etc.