the quay at Yarmouth toon

words Ewan MacColl / tune trad.

Come a’ ye fisher lassies, aye, and come awa’ wi’ me
Frae Cairnbulg and Gimrie and frae Inverallachie
Frae Buckie and frae Aberdeen and a’ the country roond
We’re awa’ tae gut the herring, we’re awa’ tae Yarmouth toon

Ye rise up in the morning wi’ your bundle in your hand
Be at the station early or ye’ll surely have to stand
Tak plenty tae eat and a kettle for your tea
Or you’ll maybe die o’ hunger on the road tae Yarmouth quay.

Well, the journey it’s a long yin and it taks a day or twa
And when you’ve found your lodgings sure it’s sound asleep ye’ll fa’
But you’ll rise at five wi the sleep still in your e’e
You’re awa tae find the gutting yairds along the Yarmouth quay

It’s early in the morning and it’s late into the nicht
Your hands are cut and chappit and they look an awfu sicht
And you’ll greet like a wean when you put them in the bree
And you’ll wish you were a thousand miles awa fra Yarmouth quay.

For there’s coopers there and curers there and buyers, canny cheils,
There’s lassies at the herrings and there’s lassies at the creels
And you’ll wish the fish had been all left in the sea
By the time you’ve finished gutting herring on the Yarmouth quay.

I’ve gutted fish in Lerwick, in Stornoway and Sheilds,
All along the Humber midst the barrels and the creels
Whitby, Grimsby, a’ the country roond,
But the place tae see the herring is the quay at Yarmouth toon