Gordon Bok Gordon Bok 2 34 2010-02-15T18:19:00Z 2010-02-15T18:19:00Z 6 591 3374 Timberhead 28 6 4143 9.6926

One More Morning (Memoir/Oratorio)

                                    © Gordon Bok

                                   

            This piece is my attempt to remember of picture a single night of purse-seining for herring off the Maine Coast around (say) 1970.

            It begins in the afternoon when the fisherman has finished his 'day job' and is looking at a full night of chasing herring, through to the daylight, when the sardine-carriers are hauling the catch off to the cannery, and he can sort out his gear and go home.

            It is mostly conversations.  Some I've heard on fishing boats, some on marine radio, some over beers ashore and some imaginary, trying to get into the heads of those whose skill at finding and catching these spooky fish is truly uncanny.

 

January Men and Then Some

 

           

          I

          Now give me strength at the end of the day

          out on the deep

          O give me strength to go back on the water

          down in the dark of the moon

          Out on the deep, out on the deep

          Out on the wild old ocean

 

          O give me fishes to soothe my sorrows

          out on the deep

          O give me darkness to soothe my herring

          down in the dark of the moon

          Out on the deep, out on the deep

          Out on the wild old ocean

 

          For there's snow, lord, there's snow on the wind

          out on the deep

          Snow on the wind before morning

          down in the haul of the tide

          Out on the deep, out on the deep

          Out on the wild old ocean

 

          And there's wind, lore, there's wind before morning

          out on the deep

          Wind on the cold tide coming

          down in the haul of the tide

          Out on the deep, out on the deep

          Out on the wild old ocean

 

          O give us one more morning

          Then will we lay this season down

 

          II

          Somewhere out there I know they're traveling

          bring them to me

          Somewhere out there I know they're rising

          bring them to me

          Somewhere out there I feel them gathering

          bring them to me

          Oh, boys – easy!  easy

 

          Haul out your rings now easy

          Roll them out easy easy

          Come on around them easy

          Circle all round them easy

 

          III

          Come on your purseline  bring them to me

          Bring them along now  bring them to me

          Bring'em all of 'em home  bring them to me

          Ah – come on a rising   fire below boys

          Coming on silver   fire below

          Come on a moving   fire below

          Come on a heaving   light the deep (hold 'em)

          O set out the light now   set out the light

          Fire up the ocean   light up the deep!

 

          IV

          Now, call on the carriers  come on the twine

          All you little ones, big ones  come on the twine

          O but come on her easy come on the twine

          O come on, Amanda come on the twine

          Come on her, Edward come on the twine

          Come on her, Grayling  come on the twine

          Come on her, Ida, come on the twine

          Come on her, Jacob,  come on the twine

          Come on her, Maryanne  come on the twine

          Come on her, Muriel  come on the twine

 

          O come on, Amanda  call on the boats now

          come on the twine

          Come on her, Edward  come 'round the islands

          come on the twine

          Come on her, Grayling  O mind all the hardware

          come on the twine

          Come on her, Ida  come take up your corkline

          come on the twine

          Come on her, Jacob  O come on her easy

          come on the twine

          Come on her, Maryanne  come lay out your hoses

          come on the twine

          Come on her, Muriel  I got a thousand hogshead!

          come on the twine

 

          V

          Now their salt is all down and their hoses are in

          And their baskets are full and their hatches are on

          So they let go the twine and they kick themselves clear

          And they slide up the bay and they're headed for hom

          So we clear up the gear and we sort out the twine

          And we string out the boats and we head for the barn

          And it's home, home, home…

 

          VI

          O hey, she's making day!

 

          VII

          Somewhere out there I know they're traveling

          bring them to me

          Somewhere out there I know they're rising

          bring them to me

          Somewhere out there I feel them gathering

          bring them to me… O

 

          O give me one night's hauling

          out on the deep

          O let me see them rising

          down in the cold dark sea

          Out on the deep out on the deep

          Out on the wild old ocean

 

          O give us one more morning

          Then will we lay this season down

 

 

One More Morning is recorded on the album Herrings in the Bay