North Atlantic Trawler

Words & Music by Tim Hus
Copyright Tim Hus Music 2010

A trawler on the North Atlantic is the damnedest place to be
The winds are blowing gale force in the rage of a stormy sea
Way out on the Grand Banks in the offshore fishery
A trawler on the North Atlantic is where I want to be

I first hired on as a draggerman with the old man at my back
The rockbound coast of Newfoundland still flew the union jack
The trawl doors hung from the gallows, we cast our mooring lines
My first trip on the offshore trawl I’ll remember all my life

The wind did blow and the sea did roll our tow wires pulled taught
Between the headrope and the sweep were the groundfish that we caught
Hauled back in the cod-end and poured out on the deck
Twenty thousand pounds or more of flounder, code, and hake


We fished our quotas all the way to the Flemish Cap
I know those waters and I know the bottem like I know the back of my hand
I was out there on the shelf when cod was currency
And I was there when the bell tolled for the East coast fishery

I became an old man my eyes all filled with tears
We’ve been fishing on this coast for near five hundred years
Now I stand down on the pier and look out at the bay
May I live to see the day when the fish come back again