Wednesday, 3 October 2012

WEDNESDAY CLUB - Ewan McColl/Clancy Brothers - Shoals of Herring

MIDWEEK CRISIS fancy a spot of fishing, come to WEDNESDAY CLUB we've got Grandpa, Ewan McColl, The Clancys and as much herring as you can eat!
The Granite City

 
EWAN MCCOLL - Shoals of Herring

Here is a classic folk song for you and two brilliant versions to boot. It is particularly personal to me as my Grandfather(Grandpa)  fished for herring all his life out of Aberdeen and Lowestoft. Although I was brought up in a small council house in Inverness my Grandfather stayed with us most of the time. He had his place at one corner of the settee and no one dared sit there. We had only two bedrooms and I had to share a room with my sister and a  bed with my GP until I was a teenager.(can you believe that nowadays) He only had the the Old age pension and his life revolved around getting the paper in the morning and picking out some horses and then walking about 30 mins to town in his workman's boots to the bookies and then watch his choices on television in the afternoon. If he had any winners he would again walk to town and on the way back home stop for a refreshment at the 'Tarry Isle'  This he did every day and was extremely fit and lived into his nineties.

He loved nothing better than to tell stories of his high sea adventures, the souls he had met and lost and his constant search for the 'bonnie shoals of herring'. Once he started you could not get him to stop. When we asked our  'Mam' what to get him for his birthday or Christmas. The answer was always a pound of Pan Drops (a hard white mint sucking sweet) or an ounce of Old Bogey Roll.  He loved his pipe and smoked nothing other than Old Bogey Roll, a dark sticky tobacco which had a distinctive aroma (stink)!.

When I was older and had a place of my own, I looked back and understood how tough it must have been for him living in somewhere that is not your own and suddenly that little space at the end of the settee seemed to have so much more significance.

These two are for you Gramps. You must have had a tough life and as you always used to say :

'Time and tide waits for no man'   
THE CLANCY BROTHERS - Shoals of Herring

For more Wednesday Club bonnie fish!

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WEDNESDAY CLUB - Ewan McColl/Clancy Brothers - Shoals of Herring
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Oleh

8 comments

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3 October 2012 at 19:06

A moving post, Old Pa. I get to Lowestoft occasionally and next time I do, I'll be sure to pause for a moment and think of Old Grandpa.

The Ewan McColl version of Shoals of Herring is fantastic.

(Was the tobacco really called Old Bogey Roll? Brilliant name.)

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3 October 2012 at 20:00

Thanks Mr S I did a check and Bogie Roll is still available....was like tar!

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3 October 2012 at 20:31

Tremendous. Beautiful post and two beautiful versions. Thanks for this little insight into your family, sir. Grandpa sounds like a real man.

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C
3 October 2012 at 20:54

I echo The Swede and Singing Bear - what a lovely insight into a different way of life. We don't know we're born, eh...

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4 October 2012 at 14:11

SB & C many thanks for comments and I never thought I would ever say 'You don't know you were born'(but I have) also thought I would always keep up with the top 20...but find it is not worth my effort...sad...most of the current bunch could walk past me and I would not regognise them...your getting old OP

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5 October 2012 at 08:21

I love this!! I didn't know the man but I would have loved to have joined him for a few 'refreshments' and hear his stories. It's so important to be able to pass on those memories/legacy on to another generation before it is completely lost. I remember Sophie's grandfather recounting stories about his childhood experiences just a week before he died. Stuff that she was unaware of too. I do remember Grandpa though, he was another particular man, with his own sacred armchair. He used to come back at lunch time for his soup and dram after being out doing his rounds and as kids used to dare each other to sit in his seat. He took it well as he was a funny guy too, standing there looking at us in his seat, growling at us with his false teeth hanging out!

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sfw
6 October 2012 at 09:45

Great post Old Pa. An almost forgotten age.

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6 October 2012 at 11:20

Great post OP. It was a simple time when the little things mattered. I wish I had more interaction with my grandparents, it's so important to know where you came from. A bonnie wee song!

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