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Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie

DigiTrad:
SONG OF THE FISH-GUTTERS


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Fish Gutting Lassie (12)
Lyr/Tune Req: Alaska Packers Shanty (18)
Lyr Req: Song of the Fishgutters (Ewan MacColl) (3)


GUEST,crockett 27 Jan 01 - 07:24 PM
Jeri 27 Jan 01 - 07:27 PM
Jeri 27 Jan 01 - 07:28 PM
wysiwyg 30 Jan 01 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,crockett 04 Feb 01 - 05:13 PM
Snuffy 04 Feb 01 - 06:25 PM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 01 - 07:59 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Feb 01 - 08:20 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 Feb 01 - 08:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Feb 01 - 08:33 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 Feb 01 - 08:36 PM
Jeri 04 Feb 01 - 08:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Feb 01 - 09:52 PM
nutty 05 Feb 01 - 09:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Feb 01 - 02:29 PM
nutty 05 Feb 01 - 03:08 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Feb 01 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Drumshanty@work 19 Jun 01 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Drumshanty@work 20 Jun 01 - 04:27 AM
GUEST 20 Jun 01 - 05:23 AM
IanC 20 Jun 01 - 05:34 AM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jun 01 - 07:26 AM
Drumshanty 18 Sep 01 - 01:31 PM
JedMarum 18 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Sep 01 - 02:05 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Sep 01 - 04:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Sep 01 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,madwaff 04 Feb 02 - 09:45 AM
Jock Morris 04 Feb 02 - 10:57 AM
madwaff 04 Feb 02 - 12:04 PM
madwaff 05 Feb 02 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Drumshanty@work 05 Feb 02 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Trewissick 07 Jun 11 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 07 Jun 11 - 01:25 PM
Tattie Bogle 07 Jun 11 - 08:00 PM
Effsee 07 Jun 11 - 10:24 PM
Effsee 07 Jun 11 - 10:32 PM
Anne Neilson 08 Jun 11 - 03:38 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 08 Jun 11 - 03:44 AM
Tattie Bogle 08 Jun 11 - 02:26 PM
Effsee 08 Jun 11 - 03:19 PM
GUEST 08 Jun 11 - 05:18 PM
janemick 08 Jun 11 - 05:20 PM
Tattie Bogle 09 Jun 11 - 07:31 PM
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Subject: lyrics for fishgutting lassies
From: GUEST,crockett
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 07:24 PM

can anybody give me the lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow the shoals o' herring. the only song i can find under fishgutting lassie is known to me as the song o' the fishgutters and that isn't the lyrics that i want. i hope someone can help . thanks


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 07:27 PM

Is this it?


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 07:28 PM

No, that's not it. Sorry - should have paid more attention to the title.


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jan 01 - 01:10 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: GUEST,crockett
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 05:13 PM

thanks for your time jeri but that is the version i keep getting although i'm sure the title is right. perhaps i might get a better result if i change the thread to follow the shoals o' herring


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 06:25 PM

Then you'll probably just get Ewan McColl's "Shoals of Herring".


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 07:59 PM

Hi, Crockett - finding songs by title is tough, and we might have better luck if we knew a few more details. Give us what you know of the song - the general story, phrases or words you can remember - whatever. Don't start another thread - just use this one and tell us what you know of the song. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 08:20 PM

I've spent quite some time looking for this, and it shows no signs of ever having been recorded by anybody under either of the titles you suggest (I'm assuming that it's a relatively recent composition).  Please quote us a few lines to give us something to work with!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: author of fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 08:24 PM

I followed Jeri's link and found the song but not the author. As far as I know this, too, was written ba Ewan MacColl for 'Singing the Fishing'. I've got several sources saying so, not least Norman Buchan, so I think the author's name should be added.

[1966:] This was written by Ewan MacColl for the radio documentary ballad 'Singing the Fishing'. It recalls the great days of the herring fishing till it was largely killed by the Second World War. The North Firth fishing was from ports like Peterhead and Wick, Lerwick and Stornoway, and it was these ports that most of the gutting girls in the curing yard came from. Their fingers covered in heavy bandages they split and gutted the fish in one quick movement while others packed them in rows in barrels and added the brine. Later in the season they moved down for the Sooth Firth fishing in Yarmouth and Lowestoft. The tune is the traditional Back o' Bennachie. (Norman Buchan, notes 'The Fisher Family')


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 08:33 PM

Good point about attribution for Song of the Fish-Gutters, Susanne.  Unless Crockett gives us a bit more information, though, we're no nearer to identifying the song he's actually looking for.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 08:36 PM

Sorry, I thought this discussion had moved to his new thread (with 'shoals of herring' in the title). I can't help on his question, though. These are the only two songs I'd associate with the info given so far.


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 08:46 PM

The new thread is here.


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Feb 01 - 09:52 PM

Honestly, I think the discussion would be best kept here.  Otherwise I can just see 8 million earnest, helpful people who don't read threads before posting to them each "helpfully" posting the words to Shoals of Herring...(again.)


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: nutty
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 09:25 AM

This may help - although I'm not sure

CLICK HERE


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow sho
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 02:29 PM

I have a song called The Fisheman's wif that includs the lines
Your man's away tae here and there,
A-following the shoals of herring,.... Post if you want it


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: nutty
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 03:08 PM

The Fisherman's wife was also written by Ewan MacColl


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 05:00 PM

And nary a word about fish guts in it, either.  It's in the DT already, of course:  Fisherman's Wife (Ewan MacColl

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: GUEST,Drumshanty@work
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:17 AM

I was just about to start a thread asking for help with this song when I found this. I think I heard it a couple of times at Keith Festival and it is a lovely song. The chorus goes something like:

We'll gut and we'll clean and we'll salt them away
Fill up a barrel and earn a day's pay
And when the job's finished we'll be on our way
And we'll follow the herrin' shoals.

When I asked about this song at the time I was told that it was traditional, then that it was new, then that it was on lots of CDs and then that it wasn't. I have Googled for it but got nothing. Anybody know the lyrics and/or where I could find a recording?

Tracy


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: GUEST,Drumshanty@work
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 04:27 AM

Anyone?


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 05:23 AM

Isla StClare recorded a BBC radio series that included the fishgutting lasses songs. She also released a CD that contained songs of this genre.


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: IanC
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 05:34 AM

The Isla St Clair song is in the DT

Here!

I'm not sure it's what we're looking for, though.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 07:26 AM

No, that's the one Jeri already mentioned earlier in the thread.  At the moment I'm kicking myself because I saw this song somewhere not long ago, and can't remember where!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: Drumshanty
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 01:31 PM

Last weekend, I was told that the song was written by Ian Sinclair of the group Mirk. I have heard of them but there is almost nothing about them on the internet. Anyone got any more information before I go and hassle the lovely people in the record shop?

Thanks.

Tracy


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM

Ed Miller sings a great song called Petinweem (phonetic spelling, don't know ow it's s'posed to be spelled) - about a guy singin' to the love of his life, a lass who "guts the herring doun by the sea, and saves her kisses just for me ..."

Does that sound like the one yer lookin' for?


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 02:05 PM

Drumshanty's reference sounds promising.  The song I was thinking of in my previous message turned out to be a quite different one, though also about fishgutters.


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 04:55 PM

Jed has jogged my memory - could the song crockett is looking for be 'Pittenweem Jo', described by LaMarca in another thread as 'a love song to a herring gutter'? It isn't in the DT, unless Pittenweem was misspelled, and LaMarca's reference was the only one I could find in the forum.


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 05:45 PM

That song can be seen here:  Pittenweem Jo,  but it doesn't contain either of the phrases Crockett mentioned.  I think it is, so to speak, a red herring.


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: GUEST,madwaff
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 09:45 AM

New poster - bear with me if I mess up. I've got the words to this somewhere at home - if you can hang on til Tuesday morning UK time! I think I first heard it on a tape by a group from Fair Isle. madwaff


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: Jock Morris
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 10:57 AM

Come all ye bonny lassies, and come awa with me
Fae Carnball, Caipley and fae Inverallachy
Fae Buckie and fae Aberdeen and fae a' the country roon
We're awa' tae gut the herrin', we're awa' tae Yarmouth toon.

Just wondered if that might be the song that Crocket was looking for a year ago.

Scott


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: madwaff
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 12:04 PM

That's already in the DT - song of the fish gutters. The one being looked for is, I think, the one that starts:

I'm a fish-guttin' lassie, guttin' herring's me trade
I'll never be rich for the work's not well paid
For tenpence a barrel is all we are paid,
Life's hard wi' the herrin' shoal

More in the morning when I find it!

Madwaff


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FISHER LASSIE (Ian Sinclair)
From: madwaff
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 04:07 AM

Ok here we go. The words are transcribed from an old tape - 'Fridarey Folk' by Burrian ( and I lost the sleeve notes - oops)

THE FISHER LASSIE

I'm a fish-guttin' lassie, guttin' herrin's me trade
I'll never be wealthy, nae fortunes I've made
For tenpence a barrel is all we are paid
Life's hard wi' the herrin' shoal

Chorus:
For we'll gut an' well clean an' we'll salt them away
Fill all the barrels and get a day's pay
And when the job's over we'll be on our way
We'll follow the herrin' shoal

For the work is gey hard and the weather is cauld
But we sing as we wait for the catch of pure gold
When the drifters sail in, what a sight we'll behold
Hurrah for the herrin' shoal

For we'll gut and we'll clean in the sun and the rain
Back almost breakin', hands stiff wi' pain,
But when next season comes, we'll be back here again,
Along wi' the herrin' shoal

any errors are mine!
madwaff


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Subject: RE: lyrics for fishgutting lassies or follow shoals of herring
From: GUEST,Drumshanty@work
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 04:13 AM

That's the one! Many thanks Madwaff, you've made my day!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: GUEST,Trewissick
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 12:31 PM

anyone have a tune for this song?! Searched in vain on t'internet. Perhaps not surprising having read this thread!
Trewk.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 01:25 PM

You could buy a download of it here for 79p !

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/now-then/id271046661

Or listen to 30 secs of it for nothing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 08:00 PM

Ian Sinclair must be one of the most unknown/under-publicised songwriters anywhere: even Googling in 2011 doesn't bring much up! I have heard several friends in Scotland sing this song. AFAIK the author comes from Caithness, and other songs of his which are often wrongly attributed as Trad or unknown include "The King's Shilling" and "Tak a dram afore ye go". I ken precious little: if anyone kens mair please post it noo!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: Effsee
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 10:24 PM

TB, have PM'd you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: Effsee
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 10:32 PM

TB, an afterthought....what makes you think Ian Sinclair is the author of this song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 03:38 AM

I can confirm TB's info. that Ian Sinclair is, indeed, the author of this Herring Gutters song (as well as 'The King's Shilling' and 'Tak' a Dram Afore Ye Go').

Originally from Glasgow, Ian and his wife Margie moved to Thurso in the very north of Scotland, where Ian worked in Dounreay nuclear plant. He had studied violin but eventually turned more to playing fiddle and he and Margie were energetic promoters of traditional music as part of a committee organising the Thurso Folk Festival for a number of years in the 1970's. (This was a great coming together of traditional music with a very open mind and a strong focus on song.)

Ian and Margie formed the group Mirk with Ray Crompton, but the difficulties of distance and the necessity of fitting performance into full-time work meant that they were less well-known than they deserved to be. Their repertoire was based on well-researched traditional Scots song (with Margie's strong voice providing a great model for today's young singers), and to these were gradually added songs that Ian wrote himself, including the three already mentioned.

I believe that 'Follow the Herring Shoals' was originally written for a series BBC Radio Scotland programmes, as was another song about emigrant Scots in Patagonia. (Sorry I can't provide the dates etc. but I no longer have my two Mirk LPs -- 'Mirk' and 'Tak' a Dram' -- which included the Shilling and the Dram, and which pre-dated the Shoals and Patagonia.)

Latterly, Ian left Dounreay and worked for a good few years as a peripatetic strings teacher in Caithness (on condition that, as well as teaching violin, viola etc., he could also teach fiddle!). And he was also responsible for a great wee group of young players whose repertoire was based on local traditional music and tunes written by fine local musicians in traditional style.

Ian and Margie ( a primary teacher) are now both retired, and Ian occasionally ventures onto Facebook -- will try to persuade him to post here!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 03:44 AM

Effsee,

He is, my wife also learned it from The Burrian Tape mentioned above. My brother-in-law worked on Fair Isle for a summer learning dry stone walling and hedging ...... Burrian are from Fair Isle and he bought us the tape while he was there.

Ann Sinclair is a member of Burrian and with the song being credited to "Sinclair" we assumed that she had written it and wrote to her for permission to record it. She pointed us in the direction of Ian who despite sharing the Sinclair name is not a relation of hers.

Ian has no on-line presence and we were only able to get a message to him via a 3rd party who knows him.

I agree he is a very under rated song writer. He definitely wrote this song.

Paul Arrowsmith


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 02:26 PM

Effsee, I have replied to your PM; the friend of whom I spoke, who comes from Caithness originally, sings this song, and also told me that Ian wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: Effsee
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 03:19 PM

Thanks for the info EK, Paul & TB!
I've only been friends with Ian for about 35 years... you learn something every day on this forum!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE QUAY AT YARMOUTH TOON (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 05:18 PM

do you mean The Quay at Yarmouth Toon??

THE QUAY AT YARMOUTH TOON

Come, a' ye fisher lassies, aye, it's come awa' wi' me
Fae Cairnbulg and Gamrie and fae Inverallochie;
Fae Buckie and fae Aberdeen an' a' the country roon
We're awa' tae gut the herrin, we're awa' tae Yarmouth toon.

Rise up in the morning wi' your bundles in your hand
Be at thc station early or you'll surely hae to stand,
Tak' plenty to eat and a kettle for your tea,
Or you'll mebbe die of hunger on the way to Yarmouth quay.

The journey it's a lang ane and it tak's a day or twa,
And when you reach your lodgin', sure it's soond asleep you fa'
But ye rise at five wi' the sleep still in your e'e
You're awa' tae find the gutting yards along the Yarmouth quay.

It's early in the morning and it's late into thc nicht,
Your hands a' cut and chappit and they look an unco sicht;
And you greet like a wean when you put them in the bree
And you wish you were a thoosand mile awa' frae Yarmouth quay.

There's coopers there and curers there and buyers, canny chiels
And lassies at the pickling and others at the creels,
And you'll wish the fish had been a' left in the sea
By the time you finish guttin' herrin'on the Yarmouth quay.

We've gutted fish in Lerwick and in Stornoway and Shields
Warked along the Humber 'mongst the barrels and the creels
Whitby, Grimsby, we've traivelled up and doon,
But the place to see the herrin' is the quay at Yarmouth toon.

I think this is by Ewan MacColl.
Hope this helps, Jane


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: janemick
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 05:20 PM

sorry 'bout the anonymous previous post - I assumed I was logged in, Jane


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fish Guttin' Lassie / The Fisher Lassie
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 07:31 PM

No Jane, the song we're talking about is as posted by Madwaff in Feb 02 above.


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