Come all you bold fishermen, listen to me,
While I sing to you a song of the sea.
Then blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow,
We're bound to the southward, so steady we go.
2. First comes the blue-fish a-wagging his tail,
He come up on the deck and yells: "All hands make sail!"
3. Next comes the eels, with their nimble tails,
They jumped up aloft and loosed all the sails.
4. Next come the herrings, with their little tails,
The manned sheets and halliards and set all the sails.
5. Next comes the porpoise, with his short snout,
He jumps on the bridge and yells: "Ready, about!"
6. Next comes the swordfish, the scourge of the sea,
The order he gives is "Helm's a-lee!"
7. Then comes the turbot, as red as a beet,
He shouts from the bridge: "Stick out that foresheet!"
8. Having accomplished these wonderful feats,
The blackfish sings out next to: "Rise tacks and sheet!"
9. Next comes the whale, the largest of all,
Singing out from the bridge: "Haul taut, mainsail, haul!"
10. Then comes the mackerel, with his striped back,
He flopped on the bridge and yelled: "Board the main tack!"
11. Next comes the sprat, the smallest of all,
He sings out: "Haul well taut, let go and haul!"
12. Then comes the catfish, with his chuckle had,
Out in the main chains for a heave of the lead.
13. Next comes the flounder, quite fresh from the ground,
Crying: "Damn your eyes, chucklehead, mind where you sound!"
14. Along came a dolphin, flapping his tail,
He yelled to the boatswain to reef the foresail.
15. Along came the shark, with his three rows of teeth,
He flops on the foreyard and takes a snug reef.
16. Up jumps the fisherman, stalwart and grim,
And with his big net he scooped them all in.