Friday, October 22, 2010

Shoals of Herring

I have been listening this week to a collection of Alex Beaton's songs that I bought at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in July. The album (actually a 2-CD collection) is called Beaton's Personal Favorites.

One of my favorite songs on the album is called "Shoals of Herring". Look here for the lyrics. Every time I hear this song, I think of Roger's memories of the summers that he spent on a herring boat as a teenager.
"Come the summer I was fifteen, the Reverend signed me up on a fishing boat, and sent me to sea with the herring fleet. Couldna just say whether he did it to improve my character, keep me out of jail, or only because he couldn't stand me round the house any longer, but it did work. Ye want to meet hard men sometime, go to sea with a bunch of Gaelic fishermen."

(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 6 ("Ambush"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Anyway, I just wanted to share this, because I can't get the song out of my head. <g> Here is a version I found on YouTube, sung by Robert Lawrence. I like the photos interspersed with the video -- imagine Roger, circa 1955, on one of these herring boats.

1 comment:

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for this link Karen! I'm always interested in new Scottish songs...