Lyrics

Fiddlers’ Green

Maritime-themed song

© 1968 John Connolly

Sung with kind permission of John Connolly.

These are the original lyrics, directly from John Conolly:

As I roved by the dockside one evening so rare,
To view the still waters and take the salt air −
I heard an old fisherman, singing this song –
“Oh, take me away, boys, me time is not long”

CHORUS:
Dress me up in me oilskins and jumper −
No more on the docks I’ll be seen −
Just tell me old shipmates, I’m taking a trip, mates,
And I’ll see you someday, in Fiddlers’ Green …

Now, Fiddlers’ Green is a place, I’ve heard tell,
Where fishermen go if they don’t go to Hell −
Where the weather is fair, and the dolphins do play −
And the cold coast of Greenland is far, far away …

The sky’s always clear, and there’s never a gale −
And the fish jump on board with a flip of their tails −
You can lie at your leisure, there’s no work to do −
And the Skipper’s below, making tea for the crew …

And when you’re in dock, and the long trip is through −
There’s pubs and there’s clubs, and there’s lasses there too −
The girls are all pretty, the beer is all free −
And there’s bottles of rum, growing on every tree …

I don’t want a harp nor a halo, not me −
Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea −
And I’ll play me old squeezebox as we sail along −
With the wind in the rigging, to sing me this song …

These are the lyrics for the song as sung at some American renaissance faires.  Some words changed in the folk process, but others (jumpers) changed to remove anachronisms for an Elizabethan-era event:

As I walked by the dockside one evening so rare,
To view the still waters and take the salt air
I spied an old sailor man singing this song:
“Oh take me away boys my time is not long.”

Chorus:
Wrap me up in my oilskins and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell my old shipmates I’m taking a trip mates
I’ll see you someday on Fiddlers’ Green

Now Fiddlers’ Green is a place I’ve heard tell
Where fishermen go if they don’t go to hell
Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play
And the cold coast of England is far far away (Chorus)

And when you’re in dock and the long trip is through
There’s pubs and there’s grub and there’s lassies there too
The girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
And there’s bottles o’ rum growing on every tree (Chorus)

Oh I don’t want a harp, nor a halo, not me,
Just give me a breeze and the good rollin’ sea,
I’ll play me old squeeze-box as we sail along
With the wind in the riggin’, I’ll sing me this song (Chorus)

WHERE TO FIND IT

image of album cover for Bounding Main Lost at Sea - click for more info about the album

Song Notes

www.mysongbook.de from Germany notes that part of both the lyrics as well as the tune appear to have been borrowed from a 19th century sailors song, “Wrap Me Up In My Tarpaulin Jacket.”

The version that we sing has evolved from this author’s original, both to accommodate the Renaissance motif (jumpers were sweaters invented no earlier than the 1800’s, for instance) and through simple folk-song /renaissance faire mutations.

After a couple of years of unsuccessful attempts at reaching John Conolly word finally got through to him via mutual friends that we were seeking his permission to use and record his song, Fiddler’s Green. You can see John’s very nice reply here. Thank to all who helped in this quest, especially John’s friend and club owner Les Worrall.