Words and music ©1993 Valentine Doyle


Gordon – 12-string guitar

Valentine once had the opportunity to bring a small sailing vessel across the Atlantic with a friend. They ran into the usual obligatory storm, and also something I’ve never heard anyone else describe: a river of fish in the ocean. Both of these are told here as seen through the boat’s eyes.


The storm when it came shook me clear to my keel

I lost all direction and time

I had no horizon, ran battered and blind

And the whole of the world was the great wave behind

And the wave rushing on me to climb

            And oh, the ocean is wide:

            Come wind and come weather, there’s nowhere to hide

            And the ocean is wide


I carried my friends as a boat does her own

The three of us under the gale

I held on with the strength of rope and of wood

And human and little, they fought as they could

With the tiller and shortened sail

            Chorus + You pray for your own ones to weather the ride, but the ocean…


By crest and by hollow, by dark and by day

By buffet, by blow we were hurled

For three days we drove on under staysail alone

Till the storm left us still and alone in the dawn

And bright calm to the edge of the world 

            Chorus + Come calm or come storm, you’re alone in the tide


The little fish came down the bright, breathing sea

From world’s edge to world’s edge they ran

They divided behind me and joined at my bow

And I on a silver thread, rudder to prow

And all the world’s ocean its span

            Chorus +  The web of the world’s in the sea by your side


With the little ghost wind the blue follow-fish came

Big and lovely, they danced in the foam

Ah, we traveled companions all down the day

Then as the breeze quickened, they were off on their way

And I heeled in the good breeze for home

            Chorus + And the web of the world’s in the sea by your side

            Chorus + Rise well, swim easy, wherever you bide

            For the ocean is wide



Sarabande's Story is recorded on the album Other Eyes