The Fisherman's Wife Fa wid be a fisherman's wife Tae work wi' a tub an a scrubber an' a knife A deid oot fire an' a raivel'd bed An' awa tae the mussels in the mornin. cho: Here we come scoorin in, Three reefs tae the foresail in. There's nae a dry stick tae pit on wer back, But still we're aa teetotllers. Noo, fa'll gie's a hand tae rin a ripper lead Tae try for a coddie in the bay o' Peterheid? They're maybe at the Lummies or the clock on Sautis'eid Fen we gaun tae the sma lines in the mornin. Ma puir aul father's in the middle o' the flair Beatin heuks ontae tippets an they're hingin on his chair. They're made wi horses' hair, man, for that's the best o' gear Tae be gyan tae the fishin in the mornin. Syne it's doon the Geddle Braes in the middle o' the nicht Wi an aul seerup tin an a can'le for a licht, Tae gaither up the pullars, ev'ry een o' them in sicht So we'll get the linie baited for the mornin. It's easy to the cobbler, sittin in his neuk, His big copper kettle hingin on a crook. But we're in the boo and we cannae get a heuk It's sair hard work in the mornin. It's nae the kin o' life that a gentle quine can thole Wi her fingers reid raw wi the scrubbin oot a yole An a littlen on her hip, she's awa tae cairry coal, She'll be caaed sair deen in the mornin. Still an aa she widnae change for the gran'est o' yer gear For she never kens the minute when her hairt'll loup wi fear. For he's awa tae the sea an he's aa that she has dear She qued be a widow wi his bairn in the mornin. Fa wid = Who would deid oot fire = no time to light it raivel'd bed = no time to make it scoorin = skelpin' (driving) Three reefs tae the foresail in = under high winds teetotllers = teetotalers gie's = give us ripper = metal bar with hooks, tied to a sea line coddie = codfish Lummies & Salt House Head = local landmarks gaun, gyan= going puir aul = poor old flair = floor Beatin heuks ontae tippets = attaching hooks to leaders syne = in time Wi an aul seerup tin an a can'le for a licht = With an old syrup can (to hold the bait) & a candle for a light pullars = peeler crabs - soft-shelled for bait boo = bow quine = quean (young woman) thole = endure yole = fishing yawl littlen = little one caaed sair deen = get up for work too early gran'est o' yer gear = the best one might have loup = flip-flop qued = could bairn = child An Aberdeen song, still current. See Sheila Douglas, _The Sang's the Thing_. (Polygon, Edinburgh, 1992) Sung by "The Shipping News" at the Mystic Sea Music Festival, June 1998. AJS AJS APR99
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