Song Of The Fishgutters 9Come Aa Ye Fisher Lassies)
(唀渀欀渀漀眀渀 愀氀戀甀洀 ⠀㈀㌀开 开㈀ 开 )
This song is about Scots lassies from the fishing
communities of the North East going down to the English port of Yarmouth to gut
Come aa ye fisher lassies now an come awa wi me,
Fae Cairnbulg and Gamrie and fae Inverallochie,
Fae Buckie and fae Aiberdeen and a' the country roon,
We're awa tae gut the herrin, we're awa tae Yermouth toon.
You rise up in the morning wi your bundles in your hand,
Be at the station early or you'll shairly hae to stand,
Tak plenty to eat and a kettle for your tea,
Or you'll shairly die o hunger on the way to Yermouth quay.
The journey it's a lang ane and it taks a day or twa,
And when you reach your lodgins sure it's soond asleep you
But ye rise at five wi the sleep still in your e'e,
You're awa tae find the gutting yairds alang the Yermouth
It's early in the mornin and it's late into the nicht,
Your hands aa cut and chappit and they look an unco sicht,
And you greet like a wean when you pit them in the bree,
And you wish you were a thoosand miles awa fae Yermouth
There's coopers there and curers there and buyers, canny
And lassies at the pickling and others at the creels,
And you'll wish the fish had been aa left in the sea
By the time you finish guttin herrin on the Yermouth 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 Yermouth
Hear it performed by Christine Kydd.
The song was made to a traditional tune by Ewan MacColl for
the award-winning Radio Ballad programme Singing
The Fishing. Women and girls travelled up to Shetland and down to Yarmouth
following the herring catch. They could gut herring so fast that in films of
them at work the hands are a blur. The gutted herring were packed into barrels
and salted to be preserved.
This site is created and maintained by Ewan McVicar.
This site is to replace the Education Scotland Scotland's Songs site that was 'taken down' in January 2017.