The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94336   Message #3517830
Posted By: GUEST,Tony
21-May-13 - 11:00 PM
Thread Name: Common poems set to music
Subject: RE: Common poems set to music
The Three Fishers poem (pub. 1851) by Charles Kingsley (1819-1875).
Set to music by John Hullah (1812-84, a friend of Kingsley's).
Recorded by Richard Dyer-Bennet, ca 1962, and by Joan Baez.
Set to a different tune by Garnet Rogers, and sung by his brother Stan on "For the Family" album.
Also set to music by S.D.S. 1856, Robert Goldbeck 1878, Charles Kunkel 1883, W. F. Sudds 1883.
S.D.S. might be a pseudonym or collaborator of Hullah.
The last lines of each stanza refer to the belief that it was a bad omen if the tide made a moaning sound as it receded over the sand bar that kept the harbor waters still. The line, "Men must work and women must weep," became a well-known catchphrase.


Three fishers went sailing away to the West, away to the West as the sun went down.
Each thought on the woman who loved him the best, and the children stood watching them out of the town.
For men must work and women must weep, and there's little to earn, and many to keep,
Though the harbour bar may be moaning.

Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower, and they trimmed the lamps as the sun went down;
They looked at the squall, and they looked at the shower, and the night-rack came rolling up ragged and brown.
But men must work and women must weep, though storms be sudden, and waters deep,
And the harbour bar be moaning.

Three corpses lay on the shining sands in the morning gleam as the tide went down,
And the women are weeping and wringing their hands for those who will never come home to the town.
For men must work and women must weep, and the sooner it's over, the sooner to sleep;
And good-bye to the bar and its moaning.