Gordon Bok Gordon Bok 2 1 2010-02-16T16:54:00Z 2010-02-16T16:54:00Z 2 387 2207 Timberhead 18 4 2710 9.6926

THE NET

Words ©1946 Douglas Stewart (1913-1985)

Music © 1984 John Broomhall

 

Gordon – 12-string “Bell” guitar

I learned this song from the eerily calm singing of our friend Penny Davies from Stanthorpe, Australia, and adapted her husband Roger Ilot's arrangement to the “Bell”.   A gurnet is an odd fish with the usual complement of fins, but two pectoral fin- like legs, with which it "walks" across the bottom.

 

My wings were blue in the ocean green

The prettiest things you ever have seen

The gurnet said to the catfish

Rose were my legs and rose my sides

And who would have thought as I roved the tide

Where the red crab watched me scuttle and glide

I would come to dance in a net?

 

The fisherman stands by the water and chuckles

Clams are his ears and limpets his knuckles

The gurnet said to the catfish

The beard of a mussel droops from his chin

The scales of a mackerel cling to his skin

And his eyes roll out and his eyes roll in

As he watches us dance in the net

 

His eyes are hard as berries of kelp

But sweet is his daughter who comes to help

The gurnet said to the catfish

They take the ropes in their lean brown hands

And haul us out on the shine of the sands

And the young girl laughs as the fisherman stands

And watches us dance in the net

 

Let her hang up her clothes on a gooseberry bush

Where the waves say crush and the foam says hush

The gurnet said to the catfish

The surf is red with struggle and slaughter

But somewhere on earth or in sky or in water

The scaly man and his long-legged daughter

Will come to dance in a net

 

The fishes run to the fisherman’s tune

The waters run to the pull of the moon

The gurnet said to the catfish

And there in the sand at the edge of the tide

The fisherman’s daughter, dancing in pride

With her rosy legs and her rosy side

Is less than a fish in the net

 

For somewhere, glaring in wastes of space

There’s a terrible eye in an empty face

The gurnet said to the catfish

And round and round in the spell of that stare

Flashing and slashing and biting the snare

Go all the glittering shoals of the air

Dancing like fish in the net

 

So somebody sits in space and chuckles

With hair like a comet and stars for knuckles

The gurnet said to the catfish

And glimmer of side and swirl of fin

His arms are huge as he hauls them in

And his teeth are sharks in a mile wide grin

As he watches them dance in the net

 

There I’m going and there go you

I with my wings of butterfly blue

The gurnet said to the catfish

The moon comes by and he swallows it whole

And now it’s the girl with wings on her soul

And then it’s the fisher, and the great eyes roll

As he watches them dance in the net

 

 

The Net is recorded on the album Other Eyes