The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137101   Message #3143527
Posted By: Ross Campbell
27-Apr-11 - 02:03 PM
Thread Name: Fleetwood & Fishing: Songs of the Trawling Trade
Subject: Lyr Add: THE SMACKSMAN (from Sam Larner)
The Smacksman         (Trad, from Sam Larner)

Once I was a schoolboy,
And I stayed at home with ease;
Now I am a smacksman, and plough the raging seas.
I thought I'd like sea-farin' life,
But very soon I found -
It wasn't all plain sailin' boys - when out on the fishing ground!

        Coil away the trawl-warp , boys, let's heave on the trawl;
        When we get the fish all in, we'll have another haul;
        Straightway to the capstan - merrily heave her round -
        That's the cry in the middle of the night -
        "Haul the trawl, boys, haul!"

Every night in winter as regular as the clock
We put on our old sou'westers likewise our oilskin frock,
And straightway to the capstan and merrily spin away,
That's the cry in the middle of the night:
"Haul the trawl, boys, haul."

Now when we get our fish on board
We have them all to gut;
We put them all in baskets and down the ice-locker put.
We ice them down, we size them,
We ice them all quite well;
We ice them and keep them safely like an oyster in his shell.

As sung by Dick Gillingham and the chorus in "The Final Trawl", 1982.

And that fourth verse from Chris Amos, which he attributes to Tony Hall:-

When the eight weeks are over
Hard up the tiller goes
Off we set to Yarmouth Pier
With the big gear on her nose
When we get to Yarmouth Town
Those Lassies they'll all say
Here comes our gallent fishing lads
That's been so long away

If eight weeks seems a long time to be out in a small boat, in the North Sea fisheries it was considered more effective to keep on catching once the fish had been found. The catch would be transferred to other boats to be brought to market, the fishermen would only return to shore when they or the gear were worn out.