Song of the Fishes


(American folk song)

Come all ye bold fishermen, listen to me
I’ll sing you a song of the fish of the sea. Refrain

So blow, ye winds westerly, westerly blow
We’re bound to the south’ard, so steady we go. Refrain

First comes the bluefish a-wagging his tail
He comes up on deck and yells, “All hands make sail!” Refrain

Next comes the eels with their nimble tails
They jumped up aloft and loosed all the sails. Refrain

Next comes the herrings with their little tails
They manned sheets and halyards and set all the sails. Refrain

Next comes the porpoise with his short snout
He jumps on the bridge and yells,”Ready, about!” Refrain

Next comes the swordfish, the scourge of the sea
The order he gives is, “Helm’s a-lee!” Refrain

Next comes the turbot, as red as a beet
He shouts from the bridge, “Trim in that foresheet!” Refrain

Next comes the whale, the biggest of all
Singing out from the bridge, “Haul taut, mains’l haul!” Refrain

Then comes the mackerel with his striped back
He flopped on the bridge and yelled, “Board the main tack!” Refrain

Then comes the codfish with his chucklehead
Out in the main chains for a heave of the lead. Refrain

Up jumps the flounder, so close to the ground,
Cryin’, “Mind your lead, chucklehead, mind where you sound.” Refrain

Along comes the shark with his three rows of teeth
He flops on the foreyard and takes a snug reef. Refrain

Up jumps the fisherman, stalwart and grim,
And with his big net he scoops ’em all in. Refrain

See also


  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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