Watersongs, by Nancy Raven

Nancy Raven’s



(Traditional words and music unless otherwise noted. See CD cover for more information.)

Sardines, Hey!!

Every morning by the bayside,
See the people standing in line,
Sardines, hey!, and pork and beans, hey!
Every morning when I go to the store,
I see the people asking for more …
Got sardines on a Monday, hey, hey!
Got sardines on a Tuesday, hey, hey!
Got sardines on a Wednesday, hey, hey!
Got sardines on my plate and I don’t need no steak.
A long time ago in Monterey Bay,
All the fishing boats spent their long day with.
Some years later folks looked up in surprise,
Sardines had vanished, now they’re eating French Fries,
Chorus: …
Bridge: …
Now in Monterey they have a new crop,
Folks from ’round the world, they come here to shop,

Rivers of Texas

We crossed the broad Pecos and forded the Nueces,
We swam the Guadalupe and followed the Brazos,
Red River runs rusty, the Wichita clear,
But down by the Brazos I courted my dear.
So li li li lee lee lee, give me your hand, (3X)
There’s many a river that waters the land.
The fair Angelina runs glossy and gliding,
The crooked Colorado runs weaving and winding,
The slow Antonio it courses the plain,
But I never will walk by the Brazos again.
Li li li lee lee lee pole the boat on, (3X)
My Brazos sweetheart has left me and gone.
She kissed me, she hugged me,
she called me her dandy,
The Trinity’s muddy, the Brazos quick-sandy,
She hugged me she kissed me, she called me her own,
But down by the Brazos she left me alone.
Li li li lee lee lee give me your hand, (3X)
The Trinity’s muddy, the Brazos quicksand.
The girls of Little River, they’re plump and they’re pretty,
The Sabine and Sulpher have many a beauty,
On the banks of the Natchez there’s girls by the score,
But down by the Brazos I’ll wander no more.

Talking Nautical

by Sam Hinton

As I went on a ship one day,
A good old sailor to me did say,
I’m gonna teach you the words to say
Whenever you go to sea.
You never say
floor, you gotta say deck
wall, you gotta say bulkhead
upstairs, you gotta say topside
bed, you gotta say bunk
bathroom, you gotta say head
kitchen, you gotta say galley
That’s the way you’re supposed to talk
whenever you go to sea.

When I retired from the sea,
That good old sailor, he came to tea
I said You better learn to talk like me
whenever you come ashore.
You never say
galley, you gotta say kitchen
head, you gotta say bathroom
bunk, you gotta say bed
topside, you gotta say upstairs
bulkhead, you gotta say wall
deck, you gotta say floor
That’s the way you’re supposed to talk
whenever you come ashore!

Squid Jiggin’ Ground

by Arthur R. Scammell

Oh, this is the place where the fishermen gather,
With oilskins and boots and Cape Anns battened down,
All sizes of figures with squid lines and jiggers,
They congregate here on the squid jiggin’ ground.
Some are workin’ their jiggers while others are yarnin’
There’s some standin’ up but there’s more lyin’ down,
While all kinds of fun, jokes, and tricks are begun,
As they wait for the squid on the squid jiggin’ ground.
The squid jiggin’ ground is out on the bay,
We’ll light all the lights, turn the night into day.
There’s men from the harbor and boys from the tickle,
In all kinds of motorboats, green, gray and brown,
Right yonder is Bobby, and with him is Nobby,
They’re chawin’ hard tack on the squid jiggin’ ground;
The man with the whiskers is old Jacob Steele,
He’s gettin’ well up, but he’s still pretty sound,
While Uncle Tom Hawkins wears six pairs of stockin’s
Whenever he’s out on the squid jiggin’ ground.
There’s poor Uncle Billy, his whiskers are splattered
With spots of the squid juice that’s flyin’ around,
One poor little b’y got it right in the eye,
But they don’t give a darn on the squid jiggin’ ground.
Now, if you’ve ever a mind to go squiddin’
Leave your white skirts and petticoats behind in the town,
And if you get cranky without your silk hanky,
You’d better steer clear of the squid jiggin’ ground.

Dance To Your Daddy

Dance to your daddy, my little babby,
Dance to your daddy, my little lamb
You shall have a fishy in a little dishy
You shall have a fishy when the boat comes in.

John Kanaka

Thanks to Don Sinetti, Mystic Mar. Mus., CT.

I heard, I heard the old man say …
John Kanaka naka tulie ay,
Today, today, is a holiday,
John Kanaka naka tulie ay.
Tulie ay, oh … tulie ay,
John Kanaka naka, tulie ay.
We’ll work tomorrer, but not terday,
John Kanaka naka, tuie ay.
We’re bound away for Frisco Bay,
We’re bound away at the break of day.
We’re bound away around Cape Horn,
It makes us wish we’d never been born.
A Yankee ship with a Yankee crew,
Oh, we’re the buckos fer to push her through.
Oh haul, Oh haul, Oh haul away,
Oh haul away fer to make your pay.

Mingulay Boat Song

Eel ya o, boys, let her go, boys,
Head her ’round, now all together
Eel ya o, boys, and we’ll anchor
As the sun sets in Mingulay.
What care we how wide the Minch is?
What care we for windy weather?
Let her ’round, boys, pull your oars hard,
Sailing homeward to Mingulay.
Bairns are laughing, wives are waiting
Look and see you hills of heather,
Sail her on now, toward the homeland,
While the sun sets on Mingulay.
Wives are waiting, by the harbor,
They’ve been waiting since break of day,
Wives are waiting at the harbor,
As the sun sets on Mingulay,

(Eel ya o means Heave your oars.)

Emily Fish

Traditional music, words by Nancy Raven

Yo ho ho, The light shines free,
thanks to the work of Emily!
Oh, Emily was the keeper of the Pt. Pinos Light,
She kept that beacon burning bright,
One day she’d shine up all the glass
The next day she polished up all the brass.
When Emily first moved into the house,
All she found living in the yard was a field mouse,
So in her spare time she worked outside,
Putting in a garden, which became her pride.
There was a fountain, roses, and blooms all around,
Another lighthouse like it just couldn’t be found.
Prize hens, horses, and Holsteins to see,
And on Sundays the public was invited to tea.
One night there was a racket down in the hen house,
As Emily neared the barn
she heard some might big growls,
To her surprise she found a grizzly bear,
She whomped him with a rake and
chased him out of there!
Everyone who visited while Emily was there,
Said the old lighthouse had never seen better care,
For twenty one years her work shone through,
Keeping boats off the rocks when the skies weren’t blue.

I’ze The B’y

I’ze the b’y that builds the boat,
And I’ze the b’y that sails her,
I’ze the b’y that catches the fish,
And takes them home to Lizer.
So hip your partner, Sally Tipple,
Hip your partner Sally Brown,
Over the bay to Monterey,
All around the circle.
I took Lizer to a dance,
And faith and she could travel,
And every step that she would take,
Was up to her knees in gravel.
Salts and rinds to cover your flake,
Cake and tea for supper,
Codfish in the spring of the year,
Fried in maggoty butter.
Susan White, she’s out of sight,
Her petticoat wants a border,
Old Sam Oliver in the dark,
Kissed her in the corner.

Gum Tree Canoe

I’ll sing you a ditty, a sweet little song,
It will take just a moment, it won’t keep you long,
I’ll sing of the days when our love was still new,
As we sailed down the River Murray, boys,
In a gum tree canoe.
We rowed, we rowed, o’er the water so blue,
Like a feather we would float along, in a gum tree canoe.
My hand on the banjo, my toe on the oar,
I work all the day and I sing as I go,
And at night time I turn to my Julia so true,
As we sail down the River Murray, boys,
In a gum tree canoe.
We’re floating along, our lines at the lee,
I’d soon fish this river as go out to sea,
And at night time my thoughts turn to my Julia so true,
As we sail down the River Murray, boys,
In a gum tree canoe.
So this is my boat, so trim and so strong,
Come join us, the river will take you along,
Hear the music afar from the didgeridoo,
As we sail down the River Murray, boys,
In a gum tree canoe.

Donkey Riding (Hieland Laddie)

Were you ever in Quebec,
Loading timber on the deck,
Where there’s a queen with a golden crown,
Riding on a donkey?
Hey, ho, away we go,
Donkey riding, donkey riding,
Hey ho, away we go,
Riding on a donkey.
Were you ever in Cardiff Bay,
Where the folks all shout hooray!
Here comes Johnny with 3 years’ pay,
Riding on a donkey?
Were you ever off Cape Horn,
Where the weather’s never warm
See the lion and the unicorn,
Riding on a donkey?
Were you ever in Mobile Bay,
Stowing cotton all the day?
A dollar a day is all they pay,
Riding on a donkey.
Were you ever in Dundee?
There’s some pretty ships you’ll see,
Where you make fast to a tree,
Riding on a donkey.

Abalone Song

Abalone [abalone], abalone [abalone]
Abalone [abalone] … and chunks of abalone. (2x)
In Monterey, the people say,
They like to feed a crony
On caramels and cockle shells
And chunks of abalone.
Oh some like ham, and some jam
where e’er the coast is stony
But our tom cat stays nice and fat
On chunks of abalone.
I telegraph my better half
By Morse or by Marconi,
But when in need of greater speed,
I send an abalone.
In old Carmel, the ocean swell
Of turquoise waves looks phony,
They dine with wine and food so fine,
And chunks of abalone.
Down in P.G., by the rocks and the sea,
the kids eat macaroni
Their folks sneak out for sauerkraut,
and chunks of abalone.
On Pfeiffer Beach what did I see,
while listening to my Sony?
Two folks a-throwing their Frisbee
Made of abalone.

Hawaiian Rowing Song

Our boat is gliding, gliding, gliding
Our gliding o’er the water
Our boat is gliding, gliding, gliding
Our boat is gliding o’er the sea
The ukuleles, the ukuleles are sounding
gently o’er the water
The ukuleles, the ukuleles are sounding
gently o’er the sea.

Geoduck Song

Traditional U.S./Nancy Raven

You can hear the diggers say
As they’re headed for the bay,
Oh, I gotta dig a duck
Gotta dig a duck a day,
’Cause I get a buck a duck
If I dig a duck a day,
So I gotta dig a duck,
Gotta dig a duck a day.
Dig a duck, dig a duck, dig a geoduck duck,
Dig a duck, dig a geoduck, Dig a duck a day.
Oh, it takes a lot of luck
And a certain kind of pluck
For to dig around the muck
Just to get a geoduck,
’Cause he hasn’t got a front
And he hasn’t got a back
And he don’t know Donald
And he don’t go quack!
With a shovel in your hand,
You can find ’em in the sand,
If you dig to beat the band
Where the ocean meets the land,
Get the water boiling hot,
Put some spices in the pot,
Clean the ducks and put ’em in,
And a party’s what you got!

Father’s Gone To Sea

Father gone to sea, baby mine, oh
Fathers gone to sea, baby mine, and
You’re all I’ve got here a-sleepin’ in your cot
Such a precious little dot, baby mine.

Cape Cod Girls

Cape Cod girls have got no combs,
Heave away, heave away,
They comb their hair with cod fish bones,
And we’re bound for Australia.
Heave away, my bully bully boys,
Heave away, Heave away …
Heave away, Why don’t you make some noise,
’Cause we’re bound for Australia.
Glou’ster boys have got no sleds,
They slide down hill on cod fish heads.
Yankee girls don’t sleep on beds,
They go go sleep on cod fish heads.
Nantucket doctors have no pills,
They give their patients cod fish gills.
Cape Cod cats have got no tails,
They’ve been blown off by heavy gales.
Glou’ster folk they ne’er turn blue,
They stay warm eatin’ cod fish stew.

I Catch-A-Da-Fish

I sail-a-da-ocean blue,
I catch-a-da-plenty of fish,
The rain come down pell mell,
The wind blow through my wheesk-ers
Oh, Marianna, my fair companion,
Oh Viva il Garibaldi,*
Viva! Viva! Viva l’Italia!! Hey!!

*Giuseppe Garibaldi in the late 1800s was a patriot who helped unite Italy. The garibaldi is also California’s State fish.


Hushabye baby down by the sea
The ship is a-waiting for you and for me
For you and for me
To take us to Bristol or Barnstaple Bay
Where prizes are for us by night and by day
By night and by day.

Banks of The Sacramento

Blow, boys, blow, for Californ-i-o
Oh, there’s plenty of gold, so I’ve been told,
On the banks of the Sacramento
Oh, around Cape Horn we’re bound to go,
To me hoodah, to me hoodah,
To me hoodah, hoodah, day.
Oh around the Horn with the mains’ls set,
Around Cape Horn and we’re wringin’ wet.
Oh, around Cape Horn in the month o’ May,
Oh, around Cape Horn is a very long way.
To the Sacramento we’re bound away,
To the Sacramento is a very long way.
Breast yer bars and bend yer backs,
Heave an’ make yer spare ribs crack.
Ninety days to ’Frisco Bay,
Ninety days is darn good pay
Oh, them wuz the days of the good ol’ times,
Back in the days of the Forty-nine.

Fishy Fishy

Fishy fishy in the brook, papa catch ‘im with a hook
Momma fries him in the pan, baby eats ‘im like a man.

Total Time: 50:16

See the details about this CD here.