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Lyr Req: There's Mackerel in the Bay

GUEST,Singerdave 03 Sep 16 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 03 Sep 16 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 03 Sep 16 - 08:39 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Sep 16 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Singerdave 06 Sep 16 - 04:51 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: There's Mackerel in the Bay
From: GUEST,Singerdave
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 07:05 AM

Can anyone provide the chords and lyrics to above song please, think only think might be by Johnny Handle.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THERE'S MACKEREL IN THE BAY
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 08:35 AM

THERE'S MACKEREL IN THE BAY

There's mackerel in the bay, me lads
There's mackerel in the bay;
Get out your boats and hoist your sails,
And let us haste away.
There's bread upon the waters, lads,
There's food for wean and wife,
There's mackerel in the bay, me lads,
And one more grip of life.

The herring's gone for good, me lads;
We plowed the seas lang syne
When ever upon the moonlit nights
We saw the silvery shine.
We rushed towards the cables, lads,
When herrin' came our way;
Now they're gone for good, me lads;
But mackerel's in the bay.

We trimmed the salmon nets, me lads
And darned, and wove, and spun,
Whenever, in the summer moons,
There seemed a goodly run;
But salmon don't come near us now,
Until the season's past.
There's mackerel in the bay, me lads;
Let's go and make a cast.

The whitefish were our joy, me lads,
Whene'er the winter came;
We hauled them in hand-ower-hand,
And then made off for hyem.
But now they've got the trawler, lads,
And cables are laid by;
But mackerel's in the bay, me lads;
Let's have another try.

The fisher's life is hard, me lads,
Between the wind and sea;
But what we've chose the fisher's life,
Jack, Tom, ye, and me.
The fish that were our living, lads,
Are driven far away;
But mackerel's in the bay, me lads
There's mackerel in the bay.

There's bread upon the waters, lads,
Food for wean and wife,
There's mackerel in the bay, me lads,
And one more grip of life.

[Graham, Benny, Handel, Johnny, The Folks of Shields: Around South Tyneside, Mawson & Wareham, 2002, MWM CDSP 46, trk.10]

Also on Tall Ships, Rivers and Seas, don't know if it's the same recording. I think the above transcription from the older CD is pretty close.

There are copies on YouTube but I don't know from which album or where each might be viewable (Orchard Enterprises... again.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's Mackerel in the Bay
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 03 Sep 16 - 08:39 AM

fyi: Mackerel are both a food and a bait fish. 'Mackerel in the bay' signaled the start of the inshore fishing season/migratory runs.

Sons Of The Fishing Village

Mackerel in the bay, hey lads!
Mackerel in the bay!
Leave the shore to lassies when
There's mackerel In the bay!

Seth was building lobster-pots,
Ben was cutting hay
Trade and crop must suffer now,
There's mackerel in the bay!

John was keeping company,
Almost named the day.
Sue may die a spinster, now
There's mackerel In the bay!

Adam oiled his fowling-piece,
Bent on killing Jay
Who would stop for murder, now
There's mackerel in the bay!

Mackerel in the bay, hey lads!
Mackerel in the bay!
Only lassies lag ashore
With mackerel in the bay!


Anon/trad(?) Sung as a rounder or circle song in the Bahamas from before WWI.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's Mackerel in the Bay
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Sep 16 - 12:52 PM

From After Many Years: A Tale of Experiences & Impressions Gathered in the Course of an Obscure Life by W[illiam] E[merton] Heitland (Cambridge University Press, 1926), page 50. The chapter is titled "Pembrokeshire—Tenby":

I missed the old race of boatmen who used to lean against the pier-road wall waiting for engagement. They were never in a hurry, and sought variety chiefly by spitting alternately into the harbour and the road. There were also a few seine boats. A rumour of mackerel in the bay at once mobilized these, manned by motley crews mostly of men whose work was on shore but who were handy watermen. I have seen immense catches made on the south beach, and have hauled at the seine ropes. Mackerel would then be plentiful beyond the local means of disposal. I have known them at ten a penny, and a quantity used as manure.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's Mackerel in the Bay
From: GUEST,Singerdave
Date: 06 Sep 16 - 04:51 AM

Thanks for that Jim, most interesting of times long gone.


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