When the Boat Comes In (Alex Glasgow version)

fishmerchant

Seeing this relic from a far away Northumbrian fish merchant reminded me of an old song from the North East of England. Alex Glasgow, a folksinger from Gateshead wrote this alternative set of lyrics. It was used as the theme of a TV show : When the Boat Comes In. He featured a lot on the local radio when I was growing up. And I even remember the  DJs name – Frank Wappat , a favorite of my grannies and her old cronies. Alex Glasgow was also behind the musical play Close the Coal House Door; the  Billy Elliot of its day (but with added balls). Thou shalt have a fishy on a little dishy is best heard by the sea; or even better, in a fishing port.  Sung in Geordie dialect. Now close your eyes and imagine you’re in North Shields.

Come here, maw little Jacky
Now aw’ve smoked me backy
Let’s hev a bit o’cracky
Till the boat comes in

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a fishy when the boat comes in.

Here’s thy mother humming,
Like a canny woman;
Yonder comes thy father,
Drunk—he cannot stand.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a haddock when the boat comes in.

Our Tommy’s always fuddling,
He’s so fond of ale,
But he’s kind to me,
I hope he’ll never fail.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a bloater when the boat comes in

I like a drop mysel’,
When I can get it sly,
And thou, my bonny bairn,
Will lik’t as well as I.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a mackerel when the boat comes in.

May we get a drop,
Oft as we stand in need;
And weel may the keel row
That brings the bairns their bread.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a salmon when the boat comes in.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: