The Hills of Isle au Haut

© 1970 Gordon Bok, BMI


I made this after a trip as mate in the old Brixham Trawler Provident in 1964 (I believe).  The Plymouth here is in England, Pedro Martir is a mountain on the coast of Spain where we made land, Cascais is a town down the river from Lisbon, and Isle au Haut is a mythical island off the coast of Maine.


Gordon – 12 string guitar

Anne, Carol, Cindy, Matt & Will vocals

Doreen – bass viol


It's away and to the westward

Is the place a man should go

Where the fishing's always easy

They've got no ice or snow


            But I'll haul down the sail

            Where the bays come together

            Bide away the days

            By the hills of Isle au Haut


Now, the Plymouth girls are fine

They put their hearts in your hand

And the Plymouth boys are able

First-class sailors, every man


Now the trouble with old Martir

You don't try her in a trawler

For those Bay of Biscay swells

Will roll the head from off your shoulder


And the girls of Cascais

They are strong across the shoulder

They don't give a man advice

And they don't want to cook his supper


Now the winters drive you crazy

And the fishing's hard and slow

You're a damn fool if you stay

But there's no better place to go



The Hills of Isle au Haut is recorded on the albums Apples in the Basket, Clear Away in the Morning, A Tune for November, and is in the songbook Time and the Flying Snow