OLD LADY ROSE

by David Baker

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In Stan Rogers’ “Make and Break Harbor” we regret the passing of the cod from eastern oceans. Now in Baker’s Old Lady Rose we bemoan the same phenomenon happening to the salmon on the west coast. Baker’s sea shanty of regret begins and ends with a melancholy farewell. Nickel adds sensuous harmonies.

LYRICS

Sing “farewell.”
Sing “farewell.”
When I sail on the Old Lady Rose.

I’m a fisherman’s son and I’ll follow the run
like my father has done all his days.
For I’m one of a breed who must live from the sea
and bide by her harsh rugged ways.
But with every new season the salmon runs wane
and soon I must bid them, “adieu”.
In this land that in mine I can no longer find
the contentment my father once knew.

Sing, “farewell” to this good life I’m leaving
I may never return, I suppose.

These cold rains will hide these tears in my eyes
when I sail on the Old Lady Rose.

I remember the days and my childhood ways
when I’d watch the fleet steal through the night.
I can still feel the thrill of a hold nearly filled
with the fish that provides our good life.
For the land and the sea is in each part of me
as my father so often explained.
Though try as I may to follow his ways
there is something that’s just not the same.

Sing, “farewell” to this good life I’m leaving
I may never return, I suppose.
These cold rains will hide these tears in my eyes
when I sail on the Old Lady Rose.

I’m worried I’ll find I’m just not the kind
who can walk all alone in a crowd.
I’m not sure I’ll know where to turn, where to go,
who to turn to when no one’s around.
For if I’m not apart of the wind and the waves
then life will seem empty, they say.
I’m hoping there’ll be a new life for me
when my old home fades slowly away.

Sing “farewell.”
Sing “farewell.”
When I sail on the Old Lady Rose.

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