Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Old Fish Song

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The Old Fish Song

The Old Fish Song

Now buddy get up and come here to your pap
I'll tell you a story, climb up in my lap
'Tis better than the story of Daniel or Ruth
Although it is fishy, it's every bit truth

Now listen right good while I tell you this tale
How Jonah the prophet got caught by this whale
That whale caught poor Jonah and bless your dear soul
It not only caught him, it swallowed him whole

Part of the story is awfully sad
'Tis about a big city that went to the bad
When the Lord saw them people with such wicked ways
He said, I can't stand them but forty more days

He spoke to old Jonah, then said, go and try
To the wicked old city and tell them that I
Give them forty days more to get humbled down
And if they don't do it, I'll tear up the town

When he heard the Lord speaking, old Jonah said no
I'm a true hard-shell Baptist, and so I won't go
The Nineveh people are nothing to me
And then I'm against foreign missions, you see

So he went down to Joppa t'was there in great haste
That he boarded a ship for a different place
The Lord looked down on him and, said He
Old Jonah's fixing to run off on me

He set the wind a-blowin with its squeaks and its squeals
The sea then got rowdy and kicked up its heels
Old Jonah confessed, it was caused by his sins
So the crew threw him out and the whale took him in

The whale said to Jonah, old feller, don't fret
I'm sent here to take you in out of the wet
So he opened his mouth and poor Jonah went in
You're going to get punished right much for your sin

What a funny sight, bud, that ever was seen
When Jonah rode off in his new submarine
The Nineveh people did not repent
For the message of warning to them was mis-sent

On a bed of green seaweed, that whale tried to rest
He said, now I'll sleep while my food'll digest
So he got mighty restless and sore afraid
For he rumbled inside as the old prophet prayed

Now you see how God's letter to Nineveh lay
In the dead-letter office for three nights and days
The old prophet shut in as tight as a lock
But all things will be opened as sure as you knock

The third day, the old fish rose from his bed
With his stomach tore up and a pain in his head
He said, I must get to the air mighty quick
That filthy old sinner's a-making me sick

So he winked his big eyes and he wiggled his tail
Pulled out for the shore to deliver his mail
He came near the shore and then he looked all around
And vomited Jonah clear out on the ground

Old Jonah thanked God for His mercy and grace
Turning to the whale and then he made a face
Said after three days and nights you have found
A good man, old sucker, you can't keep him down

So the prophet stretched up with a yawn and a sigh
Set down in the sun for his clothing to dry
He thought how much better his preaching would be
Since from Whale Seminary, he had a degree

Having rested himself, he dried well in the sun
Then started for Nineveh almost in a run
He said, I must hurry and try not to sin
I'm sure I don't want to be swallowed again

He arrived at the city about a week late
Then he preached from the time that he entered the gate
'Til the whole population repented and prayed
And the great hand of justice and vengeance was stayed

When you disobey mammy, remember this tale
When you run off from home, bud look out for the whale
There's varmints to get you on sea and on land
And a boy can be swallowed lots easier than a man

From Mike Seeger's singing
DP
oct97
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