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1. Come all you jolly listeners, come hear me while as hum,
A story I will tell you of the salty fisherman,
Of all the little rivers and inlets of the coast,
He seems to like Pender Harbour to bum around the most.

2. Oh, early on a summer's morn, when the breakers pound,
He eases from his greasy bunk and gazes all around
The sky's a little cloudy, and breezes fan the sea,
He crawls again into his cave, a breakfast for the flea.

3. Or he may crank his lemon, and through the waters plough
To shoot bull some, and gossip over at the scow
They never wash their carcasses, that's why they always drown,
The bilge the fleas the weight of grease always drags 'em down

4. They wear their shirts until they rot and fall into the chuck
Their feet stick out of rubber boots, their pants themselves could walk
Most of them are lazy born, others say they're tired,
They walk a slow and shuffling gait as if their feet were mired.

5. Siwash bums, quarterbreeds, big Swedes, Scots and Poles,
The scum of many different blends that should be on the coals,
One always smells a fisherman before he's seen or heard
He lives a free and careless life - oh what a funny bird!

6. They tell you stories by the mile of fish that they have nailed,
They tell you of creatures of the deep and of the seas they've sailed
Now all you jolly listeners, believe me if you can,
It's all the truth I'm telling you, 'cause I'm a fisherman!

- coll. by PJ Thomas from Norman Klein, Pender Harbour, 1954,
and in his Songs of the Pacific Northwest. A variant of the
"Great American Bum".
@Canada @fish @work
filename[ PENDER


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The Pender Harbour Fisherman


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