Shores of the Forth

On Springthyme SPRCD 1002
John Watt & Davey Stewart - Shores of the Forth

The song was composed by Matt Armour from Anstruther in Fife. The town of Anstruther, known locally as Ainster, is a thriving fishing port in the East Neuk of Fife. The herring shoals disappeared from the Forth many years ago forcing the boats to travel further and further in search of catches. The song captures the feelings of fisher folk of the area to the changing fortunes of the fishery.


Come aa you East Neuk fishin lads that stand in the prime o yer youth,
Come sit awhile alang wi me, I’ll tell ye aa the truth;
For I’ve lived nearby for aa ma days alang East Ainster toon,
Noo I’m gey near deid, I’ve earned ma breid, on the cauld hard herrin grunds.

Chorus:
In the auld trawl boats and the lang seine nets,
I’ve yaised up all o my youth;
Noo the herrin grund’s nae mair are fund,
Alang the shores o the Forth.

I signed wi Jimmy Gairdiner on the Annie Dear for tae sail,
Pit on a suit o ileskins, the makin o Willie Miles;
And I gaed tae the herrin grund, and man, that life was hard,
But a man stood high when his catch was cried alang by the auld sail yaird.

Ma brither Tam gaed doon alow when the Rose of Forth turned ower,
And I masel near done the same in the year o ’24;
These hands that used tae drag aa day are spleen and thrawn wi pain,
When an East wind’s blawn, I’m aa for gaun tae the herrin grunds again.

Chorus:
In the auld trawl boats and the lang seine nets,
I’ve yaised up all o my youth;
Noo the herrin grund’s nae mair are fund,
Alang the shores o the Forth.

Springthyme SPRCD 1002
© 1976, 2010 Springthyme Records
www.springthyme.co.uk