Swell Me Net Full



Bob Roberts collected this off the East coast of England.  It was used for rowing or net-hauling. 

            Sung here by the January Men and Then Some 


Gordon – nylon 6-string guitar 


Out on the ocean, dreary and cold

I live the life of a fisherman bold, so:

            Swell me net full, swell me net full

            Mackerel for Monday, swell me net full.      


Wind from the Southward, wind from the West,

Plenty of fishes will come to your net, so:

            -Seatrout for Tuesday -


Wind from the Northward, wind from the East,

Many a haul but never a feast.

            -We'll fish for Wednesday –


God is our master, the weather He willed,

And it's with herring our bellies are filled.

            -Herring for Thursday –


Stay in the harbor, look over the foam,

For Friday's the day that the Devil doth own.

            -Nothing for Friday –


Stand to your nets with needle and twice,

Whether the weather be stormy or fine.

            -Sand dabs* for Saturday –


When I do die and the life in me fails,

Build me a tombstone of herring back-scales.

            -Sole is for Sunday –


* Any of number of small bottom-dwelling flatfish



Swell Me Net Full is recorded on the album Gatherings