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Herring Croon

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Herring Croon

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Herring Croon
(Gordon Bok)

Where do you go, little herring?
What do you see, tail-and-fin?
"Blue and green, cold and dark,
Seaweed growing high,
Hills a hundred fathom deep
Where the dead men lie,
Dogfish eyes and mackerels' eyes,
And they hunger after me;
Net or weir, I don't care,
Catch me if you can."

Where do you go, little boat?
(Tar and timber, plank and sail)
"I go to green bays,
Lift them under me,
Cold grey combing seas
Come to bury me,
Rocky jaws and stony claws,
And they hunger after me;
Harbors cold and deep and bold,
Wish that I could see."

What do you see, fisherman?
(Poor old sailor, blood and bone)
"Mackerel skies, mares' tales;
Reef and furl and steer.
Poor haul and hungry days.
Rotten line and gear,
Snow wind and winter gales.
And they hunger after me;
Net or weir, I don't care,
Catch you if I can.

Where do you go, little herring?
What do you see, tail-and-fin?
"Blue and green, cold and dark,
Seaweed growing high,
Hills a hundred fathom deep
Where the dead men lie,
Dogfish eyes and mackerels' eyes,
And they hunger after me;
Net or weir, I don't care,
Catch me if you can."

Words and music by Gordon Bok, copyright BMI.
Recorded by Gordon on "Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal", FSI-84

"One of the first songs I wrote (and kept) and still like to
sing.  People can tell you what they think or see, but I always
wonder how things look to non-people too.  Most of the things I
make are sort of a byproduct of trying to understand the world
I'm living in." - GB

DC
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III