The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137101   Message #3167800
Posted By: Ross Campbell
09-Jun-11 - 02:00 PM
Thread Name: Fleetwood & Fishing: Songs of the Trawling Trade
Subject: Lyr Add: THE FLEETWOOD FIREMAN (Ron Baxter)
The Fleetwood Fireman                        
(Ron Baxter)

I am a Fleetwood fireman,
And I work on Hewitt's fleet;
I spend all my time way down below;
There I'm stoking up the fire,
To get the steam up higher,
For without me, the trawler will not go.
I'm stuck down in the stoke-hold,
With coal up to my knees,
Black with the dust from head to toe;
And I'm sweating out my soul,
Just shovelling tons of coal,
But without me the trawler will not go.

Oh the work it is so hard,
I've got muscles on my arms,
That would really make Charles Atlas proud, you know;
I've got coal dust in my blood,
And let it be understood
That without me, the trawler will not go.
And through my working life,
Well I've fired for many ships;
I've worked with Dinas, Sun and Cevic, Iago.
Down below their fires do roar,
From their funnels smoke does pour,
And without me the trawlers will not go.

But my time is running out,
For the rumours I have heard
Say that future trawlers will not run on coal;
Diesel oil is on the way,
And from what I've heard 'em say,
They won't need me to make the trawlers go!

Tune Traditional*

Sung by Ged Higson


From the era of steam trawlers - these vessels formed the bulk of Fleetwood's trawler fleet for about sixty years, from around 1890 to 1950. Here's a link to FLOAT (Fleetwood Library On-line Archive of Trawlers):-

* Been trying to think what that tune is - the nearest I can get is "Living on the Hallelujah Side" from Joseph Spence - but there's got to be a more familiar variant?