Tie Her Up                                         

©2000 Mary Garvey


Mary says about this song: "I was taking this little ferry from Westport, Oregon to Puget Island, Washington (Near Cathlamet).  It is a big island in the middle of the Columbia River, lots of dairy farms, heavily Scandinavian.  We used to go there every Christmas day for some reason and drive past the Sons of Denmark Lodge and the Sons of Norway and Sons of Sweden and probably Sons of Finland as well.  Anyway, I saw this little boat tied up on another little island the words more or less just popped into my head. 


The Larson family name came from when I was working at the School of Fisheries in the U.S. and I met a young man by that name who talked about his family heritage of fishing for many generations.


I also think of little John Aronson, a first-grader whose family all fished, and he saw no need to go to school as he already knew all about fishing.  Likewise little Melvin Charles, a Native American boy from "all three tribes" who could diagram where everything fit in his father's boat.  And the boys of Labrador who met me on the ice one day and had to show me their boat, which they had actual shares in… All of these bots are men now and it would be interesting to see if they are fishing…"


Gordon – 12 string guitar

Carol – vocal


Tie her up and let her rot, for it soon with be forgot

That we ever built the boats to match the men

Puget Island born and bred to the grey skies overhead

And we'll never see the likes of her again


Tie her up and let her rot, for the last fish that I caught

Never brought enough to buy the gas that day

When you're going after salmon it is feast or it is famine

And it looks like Mr. Famine's here to stay


Tie her up and let her rot, for I think it matters not

Where my father's father's father fished before

From the river to the sea – now it ends right here with me

There will be no Larsons fish here anymore


Tie her up and let her rot, for the sons that I begot

Have earned their fame and fortune on the land

And they laugh when they explain they don't miss the wind and rain

But it's just not in my blood to understand


Tie her up and let her rot, for I've found a pretty spot

And I can't afford to lose another dime

And if the floods wash her away, well, who am I to say

And she'll run this mighty river one last time

Tie Her Up is recorded on the album Apples in the Basket